Geografie 1995, 100, 115-121

Flexible Specialization. Flexible Accumulation

David Uhlíř

Katedra sociální geografie a regionálního rozvoje, Přírodovědecká fakulta UK, Albertov 6, 128 43 Praha 2, Czechia

This article deals with two theoretical concepts: flexible specialization and flexible accumulation. It starts with a very brief description of the changes in organization of production that occurred in the recent decades as a consequence of the 1970s and early 1980s crises. Their single most important characteristic is a great flexibility. Subsequently, the ways in which the two theories explain the changes themselves and their consequences are described in a more detailed manner. This includes reactions of the economic subjects involved, i.e. the state and the individual enterprises. Further on, the author aims to clarify the difference between two "flexible concepts" that are often misinterpreted in geographical literature. The distinction leads to an evaluation of the flexible specialization theory as an important contribution to the theories of regional development: on the other hand the flexible accumulation theorizes more generally the social and economic change. Several critical remarks concerning both theories are quoted in the last part of this article.