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Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie

The German Journal of Economic Geography

Editor-in-Chief: Henn, Sebastian / Thomi, Walter

Managing Editor: Schäfer, Susann

IMPACT FACTOR increased in 2015: 0.607

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Rejuvenating old industries in new contexts

The traditional Chinese medicine cluster in Tonghua, China

Zhi-gao Liu1 / Michael Dunford21



Citation Information: Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie. Volume 56, Issue 1-2, Pages 185–202, ISSN (Online) 2365-7693, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zfw.2012.0013, October 2015

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Most research into the formation and development of industrial clusters focuses on hightech clusters or on the upgrading of traditional industries, with little attention to long-term historical perspectives on the revival of old industries in new contexts. Although evolutionary economic geography offers a set of useful concepts for explaining the revival of old industries, it generally concentrates on local factors, neglecting the role of larger scale drivers. To help fill these lacunae, a revised theoretical framework is developed, and used to examine the evolution of the Tonghua traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) industry. Starting from this industry’s late-nineteenth century roots, the relationship between the rejuvenation of old industries in particular areas and largerscale systemic changes is examined, paying particular attention to the evolution of this sector during China’s transition from a planned to a market economy.

Keywords: industrial rejuvenation; industrial cluster; multiple scales; economic transition; evolutionary economic geography; corporate strategies

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