Captives of the Cold War Economy: The Struggle for Defense Conversion in American Communities

By John J. Accordino | Go to book overview

NOTES
1.
The task force included a Virginia state economic-development staff person, a retired chemical-industrial engineer, a retired military officer, educators, economists, and, for a short while, a state legislator.
2.
The "Gunbelt" is a term coined by Markusen, Hall, Campbell, and Deitrich to describe the Cold War-era shift of defense-procurement spending away from the nation's industrial heartland and toward the coasts. The resulting distribution of defense-dependent states resembles a belt around the nation's perimeter: New England, New York, Washington, DC (and Northern Virginia), Florida, Missouri, Colorado, Utah, Texas, Arizona, California, and Washington. If one adds military bases and federal research labs to the mix, the Hampton Roads area of Virginia as well as Nevada and New Mexico would figure prominently, further accentuating the "belt" shape. The southern, southwestern, and mountain regions of the Gunbelt share roughly similar economic histories (marked by plantation-style agriculture, extractive industries, and manufacturing branch plants) and have generally conservative political cultures. See Ann Markusen, Peter Hall, Scott Campbell , and Sabina Deitrick, The Rise of the Gunbelt: The Military Remapping of Industrial America ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1991).
3.
Indeed, Virginia has fewer thriving grass-roots-advocacy groups than many other states do, and even fewer than in other southern states.
4.
See note 2 above.
5.
I conducted location-quotient analyses for each local economy for the years 1979, 1989 (the two most recent business-cycle peaks), and 1993 by using the Covered Employment and Wages in Virginia series, commonly known as ES-202, which includes all public and private employment except for the military. (ES-202 is derived from employers' quarterly unemployment-insurance reports and is available for every state and locality in the United States. It is widely used by regional economists.) Military-employment statistics were derived from U.S. Defense Department data compiled by Robert Griffis of the Virginia Employment Commission in the series, Department of Defense Employment, Military and Civilian. I supplemented this information with defense prime-contractor lists provided by the U.S. Defense Department to the Virginia Employment Commission and with various wage and unemployment statistics developed by the Virginia Employment Commission. Spreadsheet tables depicting these data and location-quotient calculations (which provide an estimate of the extent to which a local economy depends for its livelihood upon certain industries) are available through my office at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
6.
See, for example, Todd D. Jick, "Mixing Quantitative and Qualitative Methods: Triangulation in Action", Administrative Science Quarterly 24, December 1979.
7.
In the Virginia interviews, networking was used to identify relevant actors and informed observers. First, groups were identified that might be concerned with defense downsizing: defense prime contractors and subcontractors, business associations, public economic-development agencies, grass-roots organizations, and elected public officials. These individuals and organizations were contacted and asked to describe the local situation (or their particular situation in the case of defense contractors) and the responses that they or the community as a whole had undertaken. When specific community-wide responses were identified, those involved were contacted. In the course of discussions with the leaders or informed observers of those efforts, names of proponents and opponents surfaced, and those persons were then contacted for their views. In the case of installations slated for closing through the Base Realignment and Closure process, installation

-xv-

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