Does the Digitalization of Manufacturing Boost a ‘Smart’ Era of Capital Accumulation?

  • 1 University of Cologne, Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences, Department of Econonic and Social Geography, Albertus-Magnus-Platz, Cologne, Germany
Prof. Dr. Martina Fuchs
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  • University of Cologne, Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences, Department of Econonic and Social Geography, Albertus-Magnus-Platz, 50923 Cologne, http://www.wigeo.uni-koeln.de/, 0049-221-470-7729, Cologne, Germany
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Abstract

‘Smart Manufacturing’ refers to a bundle of recent digital innovations together with the political initiatives that promote them. Public and academic debates indicate a fundamental shift in the socio-economic landscape, or a new era of capital accumulation in the language of regulation theory. A closer analysis of literature on Fordism and Postfordism, however, reveals that a ‘smart’ accumulation regime is at the most beginning to emerge, while earlier digitalization has already generated considerable impacts. This literature review first considers earlier contributions on digitalization and space that were published from the early 1980 s to the early 2000 s. It then discusses how this can inspire fresh views on Smart Manufacturing today.

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