Flexible Crossroads
448 pages, 6 x 9
61 b&w figures, 71 tables
Release Date:01 Oct 2000
Release Date:31 May 2000
Release Date:01 Oct 2007

Flexible Crossroads

The Restructuring of British Columbia's Forest Economy

UBC Press

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.


  • 2002, Shortlisted - Harold Adams Innis Prize, Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Hayter offers a comprehensive and well-written treatise on the economic geography and history of the 'forest economy' of British Columbia. He expertly describes the difficult conflicts between logging, jobs, people, indigenous people, and old growth. D.F. Karnosky, Choice
The manuscript is a highly significant contribution to economic geography, political economy, regional development, forestry economics, and resource management ... It is a welcome addition to a vibrant and fruitful debate on forest policy issues in BC from which the global community could learn a great deal. L. Anders Sandberg, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University
Flexible Crossroads makes a significant contribution directly to economic geography -- and indirectly to the field of forestry economics ... I regard it as a regional research volume that will become a classic. R.G. Ironside, Professor Emeritus, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta
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.




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



Find what you’re looking for...

Free shipping on Canadian orders over $40

Stay Informed

Receive the latest UBC Press news, including events, catalogues, and announcements.

Read past newsletters

Current Catalogue
Fall 2022 catalogue cover
Publishers Represented
UBC Press is the Canadian agent for several international publishers. Visit our Publishers Represented page to learn more.