British Columbia's forest economy is at a crucial crossroads. Its survival, Roger Hayter argues, rests on its ability to remain flexible and open to innovation -- a future by no means assured given recent policy initiatives and the current contested nature of British Columbia's forests.
Flexible Crossroads looks at the contemporary restructuring of British Columbia's forest economy, demonstrating how both resource dynamics -- the transition from old growth to managed forests -- and industrial dynamics -- changing technology and global market forces -- have shaped this transformation. Conceptually, the restructuring is portrayed as a shift from a commodity-based, cost-minimizing production system (Fordism) to a more product-differentiated, value-maximizing production system informed by the imperative of flexibility.
The first part of the book provides global and historical perspectives by situating British Columbia's forest economy within the wider context of global industrialization, the history of resource dynamics, and the current shift from Fordist to more flexible systems of production. In the second part, Hayter assesses the extent to which British Columbia's forest economy is enacting this shift by focusing on factors such as foreign ownership, the strategies and structure of MacMillan Bloedel, the role of small firms, trade relations, employment and labour relations, forest community development, environmentalism and resource use, and innovation policy.
Flexible Crossroads will appeal to geographers, political economists and forestry professionals, as well as to students of British Columbia's economy and forest economies generally.
Roger Hayter is Professor of Geography at Simon Fraser University, where he has taught economic geography since 1976. In 1999, he received the Award for Scholarly Distinction from the Canadian Association of Geographers.
Preface Acknowledgments Acronyms Part 1: Global and Historical Perspective 1 Global Industrial Transformation, Resource Peripheries, and the Canadian Model 2 Life on the Geographic Margin: The Evolution of British Columbia's Forest Economy from the 1880s to the 1970s 3 Booms, Busts, and Forest Reregulation in an Age of Flexibility Part 2: The Anatomy of Change 4 MacMillan Bloedel: Corporate Restructuring and the Search for Flexible Mass Production 5 Foreign Direct Investment: Help or Hindrance? 6 Small Firms: Towards Flexible Specialization in B.C.'s Forest Economy 7 Trade Patterns and Conflicts: Continentalism Challenged by the Pacific 8 Employment and the Contested Shift to Flexibility 9 The Diversification of Forest-Based Communities: Local Development as an Unruly Process 10 Environmentalism and the Reregulation of British Columbia's Forests 11 The B.C. Forest-Product Innovation System and the (Frustrating) Search for a Knowledge-Based Culture 12 The B.C. Forest Economy as a Local Model References Index