Issue 2

Front Pages

Note from the Editors

Tony Sorensen and Sonya Glavac

Page Number - 231

Developing a Typology of Changing Multi-Functional Regions

The classification of regions as functionally or socio- economically identifiable clusters lets us explore and describe geographies of seemingly complex and individualised change. It also improves our understanding of the varied nature of processes such as counter-urbanization and the formation of multi-functional rural regions. Using principal component analysis and subsequent cluster analysis, this study identified five types of regions in regard to characteristics of overall and newly resident communities. The study was undertaken for a broad region of Victoria, Australia that has experienced population growth and the decreasing influence of agriculture; typical conditions of counter-urbanisation. The results suggest that counter- urbanisation occurs in a variety of ways that are broadly consistent with explanations of processes such as rural gentrification, retirement mobility, exurbanisation and welfare-led migration. In addition, clustering included some areas where socio-economic change is less apparent, with a perseverance of rural characteristics.

Andrew Butt

Page Number - 233

The Future of the Chinese Miracle: WIll Neo-Statist SOEs Persist in China's Development Model

Development theorists have long debated the economic role of the state. With regard to contemporary China, this debate has been manifested in the opposition between neo-liberal and neo-statist paradigms, in particular the role of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the Chinese economic ‘miracle’. Neo- liberals, especially the Western financial media, have portrayed these enterprises as dinosaurs, restricting rather than contributing to economic development. However, the success of the state policies of zhua da, fang xiao (‘grasp the large, let go of the small’) and the move to ‘Go Global’, as well as the successful resistance to both the Asian Financial Crisis and the recent Global Financial Crisis, means that state-owned industry has remained central to China’s ‘miracle’ growth and trade policy. Though more nuanced than popularly presented, the issue remains: will these SOEs survive China’s future transition to demographic deficit and slower economic growth? We predict that they will.

Rolf Gerritsen, Benxiang Zeng and Dan Gerritsen

Page Number - 258

Transformation of Coastal Communities: Where is the Marine Sector Heading?

Much has been said about migration to coastal areas and the consequent change in coastal community demographics. Even though coastal communities are changing they are often still colloquially referred to as ‘fishing towns’ which is the presumed dominant economic activity. However, the commercial fishing sector is contracting and communities are re-orienting to other marine sectors such as marine tourism and aquaculture, and some non- marine sectors often with a net loss of employment opportunities. Our aim is to examine the additional pressure of climate change on coastal communities typically referred to as ‘fishing towns’. Climate change may prove to be the ‘tipping point’ for both the fishing fleet and coastal fishing towns. The purpose of this paper is not to examine the details of climate change -which have been documented elsewhere- but to identify the effects on fishing towns. Our approach is to consider a coastal community’s vulnerability to climate change in the marine environment in the context of its size, demographics, and economic characteristics. Small coastal communities characterised by an older demographic, high unemployment, a declining commercial fishing fleet, high participation in the marine sector, and limited local sea-based or land-based employment opportunities are assumed to be especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change in the marine environment. Together with qualitative survey results from 66 community members in three typical coastal communities across Australia, we provide insight into trends and change in these coastal communities. Our results suggest that the effects of climate change such as declines in fish abundances and coastal inundations, are likely to affect small coastal communities that were previously ‘fishing towns’. Moreover, transformations of structure and function of communities are likely to occur as the fishing component of communities’ declines further. The future of coastal communities in Australia is likely to look very different.

Ingrid van Putten, Sarah Metcalf, Stewart Frusher, Nadine Marshall and Malcolm Tull

Page Number - 286

Small Business Innovation in the Hostile Environment of Australia's Drought Stricken Rural Communities

The study examines innovations implemented by small businesses in rural Australia to overcome the effects of the drought. Focus group meetings with a total sample of 32 owner/managers in six rural communities revealed that the innovations were generally small, incremental and associated with daily operations. They were aimed at protecting or growing markets, accessing resources and operating efficiently. These innovations were necessary to conserve scarce resources in an environment of declining markets and tight profit margins. Despite this general trend, some innovations were significant. These were radical in nature and took the form of organisational restructuring and market development through mergers and acquisitions, and product and market diversifications. They were highly risky but made notable contributions to the communities. Good and careful planning and access to resources can help mitigate some of the risks associated with these high end innovations.

Bernice Kotey

Page Number - 325

Reproductive Health Beliefs and their Consequences; A Case Study on Rural Indigenous Women in Bangladesh

This study investigated reproductive health beliefs among rural indigenous women in Kakon Haat village at Rajshahi district of Bangladesh. An explanation for the tendency of women in these communities to access traditional healers (THs) and spiritual healers (SHs) for reproductive health services was discovered. Data was collected by means of in-depth one-to-one interviews and focus group discussions with 22 participants using a snowball sampling technique. The use of THs and SHs for reproductive health services was attributed to three dominant themes: a strong belief in THs, influence of family members, and traditional belief. The study’s findings suggest that that the key to improving rural indigenous women’s health lies in freeing them from mythical beliefs and misconceptions; generally borne in rural areas of Bangladesh where poverty, education, access to medical facilities, and knowledge are great concerns.

Tasmiha Tarafder and Parves Sultan

Page Number - 351

Issues in Applying Spatial Auto correlation on Indonesia's Income Growth Analysis

Research in regional growth analysis has acknowledged the importance of spatial effects as part of the analysis. Recently, there were several attempts to apply regional growth regression in Indonesia that raise the possible necessity to implement spatial effects in the growth regression. However, as the largest archipelagic country in the world, Indonesia has distinctive features in relation to spatial analysis that can hamper the application of spatial effects. The aim of this study is to investigate the necessity and the issues in applying spatial effects on Indonesia’s provincial income per capita growth by introducing the spatial lag and error into the growth regression. The exercise shows the existing problems in applying spatial effects on Indonesia’s regional growth regression. Moreover, the conclusion of the growth regression is hardly changed by the inclusion of spatial effects.

Yogi Vidyattama

Page Number - 375

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