Category: Publications

Projektseite Industrial Heartlands Podcast2024 Slider

Talking Progress Podcast: The Transatlantic Conference on the “Geographies of Discontent”

For a generation, people living in the traditional industrial heartlands all over the world have been buffeted by a technological and services revolution, the decline of manufacturing, and the rise of a borderless global digital economy. The result is deepening inequality, ongoing political support for right-wing populists and a hollowing out of the middle class. The Transatlantic Dialogue on the Industrial Heartlands: Shaping the Future project and its partners from the US and Germany are dedicated to creating new opportunities in old industrial heartlands in both countries by exchanging best practices and developing political strategies and policy solutions for a better, greener and more democratic future in the “places that don’t matter”. The main goal is to deliver increased living standards and opportunities, while also working towards rebuilding trust in democracy in the US and Germany.

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Talking Progress Podcast: The industrial heartlands – a key role in the just transformation

For a generation, people living in the traditional industrial heartlands all over the world have been buffeted by a technological and services revolution, the decline of manufacturing, and the rise of a borderless global digital economy. The result is deepening inequality, ongoing political support for right-wing populists and a hollowing out of the middle class. The Transatlantic Dialogue on the Industrial Heartlands: Shaping the Future project and its partners from the US and Germany are dedicated to creating new opportunities in old industrial heartlands in both countries by exchanging best practices and developing political strategies and policy solutions for a better, greener and more democratic future in the “places that don’t matter”. The main goal is to deliver increased living standards and opportunities, while also working towards rebuilding trust in democracy in the US and Germany.

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Stahlrollen im Werk Burbach der Saarstahl AG, fotografiert am Donnerstag (29.09.2022). *** Steel rolls in the Burbach pl

Steel Can Lead the Green Revolution

A former mayor of Pittsburgh and a grandson of steelworkers makes the case for environmentally sustainable steel production.

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Industrial Heartlands Impulse Papers

After an intensive first working phase on the thematic strands of “Climate, Work and Innovation” and “Perspective for the Future, Respect and Participation”, our Project Fellows outlined the issues and topics they will work on throughout the course of the project. They were presented to the public at Innocracy Conference on November 17 where these impulse papers set the scene for a panel discussion amongst elected officials and leaders from the US Midwest as well as German transformation regions.

The future of industrial heartlands on both sides of the Atlantic stands at a crossroads. In both Germany and the United States, 2016 was characterised by the ascendance of right-wing politics, a trend exacerbated by the ascendance of right-wing politics bolstered by a perception of abandonment among the constituents of heartland communities.

In this working paper, through our own uniquely developed lenses, we reflect on the current challenges faced by post-in- dustrial heartland communities and regions, spanning three specific areas:

1. Work and Workforce
2. Democratic and Local Participation
3. The Political Future and Elections

For each area, we address what we believe to be the issues as they currently stand, discuss their importance to the future of the industrial heartlands, and work to develop our line of inquiry as a cohort.

Industrial heartlands on both sides of the Atlantic have been at the forefront of fundamental transformations throughout the past decades and show similar contemporary phenomenologies. Specific socioeconomic geographies, from the American Midwest to eastern Germany, are challenged by surging illiberal populist movements. They face severe demographic challenges and are battlegrounds for escalating culture wars and rural-urban divisions. At the same time, industrial heartlands are bell weathers for successfully shaping inbound structural change. They are home to populations with extensive transformation experience and could, therefore, contribute valuable lessons in the processes that shape the systemic changes underway. This is all the more reason to shine a new spotlight on industrial heartlands, and in the following, we provide impulses on how to do so from a climate, work, and innovation perspective.

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