The purpose of this paper is to question some of the assumptions underlying the new localism. To address the issue it will be necessary to construct a more sensitive approach to global structuring, before issues affecting the local economy can be addressed. In particular, I want to argue that the increasing prevalence of merger and joint venture activity, on an international scale, coupled with new JIT buyer‐supplier relations is not, of necessity, going to lead to a new localised geography of production, nor are small firms going to gain from this process. Local economies are unlikely to take on a dramatically more robust or independent character; a state of play widely recognised before flexible specialisation ever emerged.
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