Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Geographical Research




School of Business and Law / Centre for Work + Wellbeing




Edith Cowan University - Open Access Support Scheme 2021

Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship


Barratt, T., & Klarin, A. (2022). Hyper-peripheral regional evolution: The “long histories” of the Pilbara and Buryatia. Geographical Research, 60(2), p.286-299.


In this article, we outline how evolutionary economic geography (EEG) explains peripheral economic development by comparing two peripheries over extended time periods. This comparison involves critically appraising EEG’s capacity to account for peripheral evolution. For geographical, historical, and political reasons, peripheries lack resources that lead to path creation and renewal. The hyper-peripheral regions of the Pilbara in north-west Australia and of Buryatia in south-east Russia provide excellent comparative case studies for understanding how peripheral regional development evolves in ways contingent upon time, state institutions, natural resource endowments, and region/firm dynamics. Our analysis shows that EEG is well equipped to deal with historical factors and capitalist economies but it struggles to reconcile these regions’ resilience and ability to sustain both Indigenous and non-Indigenous socio-economies. Development in these regions over extended periods of time invites questions about whether it is appropriate to apply EEG and its constituent parts: path creation, renewal, and exhaustion; regional resilience; and institutional thinness and thickness. In addressing those questions, we show that EEG can incorporate temporal development, stretching over long periods and economic analysis. We also critique the extent to which EEG can be used to consider how state activities influence path creation and renewal, the importance of extra-regional contexts, and heterodox and Indigenous perspectives.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.