Regional development in South Africa's West Coast: 'Dividends on the process side'?

David Bek, Tony Binns, Etienne Nel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Academics, policy-makers and consultants have been increasingly focusing upon the 'region' as the crucible of economic development. This regionalist approach places institutions at the centre of the process of stimulating growth. Much debate has been ongoing in academic circles, particularly those inhabited by economic geographers, about the veracity of the regionalist approach and the explanatory power of the terminology associated with it. This paper analyses explicit efforts to engender regional economic development in the West Coast of South Africa. Our empirical evaluation indicates that policy actors have sought to upgrade the institutional infrastructure of the region and that some significant achievements are evident within this realm. However, these achievements are yet to be associated with sustained regional economic takeoff. The paper concludes by asking searching questions about the ability of the regionalist approach to deliver meaningful socio-economic transformation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-183
Number of pages16
JournalTijdschrift Voor Economische en Sociale Geografie
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Development
  • Institutions
  • Neoliberal
  • Regionalism
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Geography, Planning and Development


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