Calls for papers


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management
International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management


Special Issue on: "Change in the World Auto Industry and Policy Responses"

Guest Editors:
Prof. David Bailey, University of Birmingham, UK
Dr. Dan Coffey, University of Leeds UK
Dr. Stewart MacNeill, University of Birmingham, UK

This special issue looks at how policy makers at local, national or regional levels have sought to work with the automotive industry to assist and adapt to the major global trends of the last two decades, at how policy makers respond to shocks or set-backs, and at the interactions more generally between state policies and firms in this strategically important global industry. Relevant issues include:

  • increasing global competition and the impact of new players
  • the changing political economy of the industry vis-a-vis plant location and sourcing decisions (driven by cost and other factors) and market entry decisions
  • the 'move to the east' in Europe and 'to the south' in the US
  • the impact of state support and policy environments and the interaction over time between policy formulation and firm responses
  • the changing technological base of the industry and changing value chain with increased electrical and electronic vehicle content
  • increasing concern for measures to ameliorate negative environmental impacts
  • social concerns and the voices of consumers, small firms, and workers

The focus should be on some aspect of how policy, operating at different spatial scales, has impacted on the industry; on the processes by which policy is formulated, with due regard to institutions, stakeholders, and firm responses; or on the development of competencies and the acquisition of information required for effective policy formulation.

Policy actions might include:

  • Those taken at national or supra-national level on regulation, for example on emissions, safety or competition, including the exit-entry decisions of firms
  • Those taken at national or regional level to support indigenous companies or to attract new investment.

Measures might include:

  • Support for innovation in product or production techniques, the organisation of labour, manufacturing logistics etc.
  • Support for skills development
  • Incentives to retain production in traditional automotive regions - or to create new capacity close to new markets or in low (wage) cost areas.
  • Actions to address the concerns of governments and the general public about major issues e.g. reducing emissions, traffic management
  • Actions to ameliorate the effects of plant closures or reductions in capacity and employment.

The policy environment has been characterised by a number of interesting initiatives. Global trade rules and the imperatives of Competition Policy mean much of this has been in the form of indirect actions at local or regional level. Often such actions do not support the car makers themselves, or major suppliers, but support upstream R&D or assist in raising general capability through supply chain actions such as process improvement. Policy types include cluster policy, innovation and innovation systems, the knowledge economy, support for re-structuring and training. Alternatively, policies may involve actions to address local affects of change such as re-training or area re-generation.

Processes of policy formulation and the acquisition of competencies for effective policy making are also important, and in ways liable to vary by country and area, for example, national versus supra-national policy making processes and their interaction in the EU or the North American free trade area, or the experiences of China, India or transition economies in formulating policy responses to their emerging role in the world auto industry. The role of institutions, of competition between states and regions via wider tax or regulatory regimes, of the degree to which citizens, consumers, small firms and workers have a voice in policy formulation, are also of substantial interest. Finally the processes by which information is acquired and meaningful policy consensus reached on areas where there is uncertainty – the future of the industry in the light of global warming and other environmental and resource concerns – is a major issue.

Papers are welcome which look at the experience of individual policy initiatives and policy responses and their effectiveness; where appropriate, comparative studies, across more than one location, would be welcome, as are papers exploring institutional processes. Studies adopting a case-study methodology or an historical perspective are equally welcome, as are contributions informed (for example) by game-theory, social cost-benefit analysis, engineering assessment of technological potentials and trends in resource use, industrial sociology, or political science. A multidisciplinary input is sought. Papers raising new questions/ speculations are similarly of value.

Subject Coverage
Papers to be included in this special issue should be focused on, but are not limited to, one or more of the following subjects:
  • An overview of major global trends and issues and of policy roles
  • An overview of local, national and supra-national policy processes and institutions
  • Macro level tax and fiscal regimes and their effects (for example, are these connected with the changing political economy of the industry)
  • Rules governing the entry and exit decision of firms (for example, requirements to inform states or workers about investment decisions affecting jobs)
  • Rules governing foreign direct investment (for example, the policy attitudes in China or India towards inward and outward FDI, and the impact on their industries)
  • Competition policy and its effects
  • Corporate strategy vis-a-vis policy environments (how do firms respond to, and seek to actively influence or shape, the policy environment)
  • Trade unions and the role of organized labour (how does this relate to policy formulation; the geography of the industry; corporate responses)
  • Consumer groups and small business associations
  • Environmental policy (how policy is evolving; what competencies are required; is there a need for transnational coordination of policy; how do firms respond)
  • Technical possibilities and future resource constraints
  • Disposal costs and social dumping
  • Standards and liabilities
  • What regional policies are adopted, and how effective are they?
  • How is policy seen from the viewpoint of less developed regions?
  • How has policy at national or supranational levels evolved to mediate or control competition for investment between less developed regions?
  • What actions are taken at different spatial scales (for example, EU, member state, and region) to support technological development - for example to reduce emissions through vehicle or infrastructural technologies, etc.?
  • What makes policy formulation efficient?
  • How do (and should) policy makers respond to shocks (e.g. plant closures)
  • Are there unintended consequences of policy?
  • How do different policies interact? (e.g. rules on FDI/ macro-regulatory regimes)
  • What are the issues of the future?

Notes for Prospective Authors

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere

All papers are refereed through a peer review process. A guide for authors, sample copies and other relevant information for submitting papers are available on the Author Guidelines page

Important Dates

Deadline for (extended) abstract submission: 28 February, 2009

Response by guest editor: 31 March, 2009

Deadline for full paper submission: 30 June, 2009