Harald Bathelt holds the Canada Research Chair in ‘Innovation and Governance’ at the Department of Political Science, University of Toronto, Canada. Harald is also Professor in the University of Toronto’s Department of Geography and Program in Planning. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of industrial and economic geography, political economy and methodology. Specific areas which provide the focus of his research and teaching activities include the analysis of long-term social and economic development, industrial clustering and the socio-economic impacts of regional and industrial change, with a specific interest in economic development and transformation in East and West Germany and China.

Listing Details

Department of Political Science, University of Toronto, Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St. George Street, Room 3121, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 3G3
Research Description
Regional economic effects the Reunification process, specifically in East German industries. An example of this is my work on the transformation of the East German chemical industry, especially the Halle-Bitterfeld region. Building on conceptualizations of industrial restructuring, innovation systems and varieties of capitalism, I am interested in investigating the effects of the double transition of the East German economy related to both the transformation of the political/economic system, and the Fordist crisis related to ongoing globalization. Associated challenges and shifts were particularly strong in the chemical industry, which had developed a structure of mass production characterized by an unsustainable exploitation of natural and economic resources. Using a conception which views transformation and restructuring as a process of regional ruptures and re-bundling, rather than one of lock-in of old industrialized regions, I investigate how restructuring activities have been able to (re)generate self-sustaining regional economies and networks in the East German chemical industry, and draw policy conclusions from this work.