Jörg Meyer-Stamer

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Jörg Meyer-Stamer
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Bornborn on 30 October 1958
Dieddied on 1st of May, 2009
EducationMasters degree in Political Science,Doctoral degree in Social Sciences

Jörg Meyer-Stamer was born on 30 October 1958 in Germany as Jörg Meyer. He changed his surname to Meyer-Stamer during his adulthood. He passed away on the 1st of May, 2009, after a short struggle with cancer.


He completed a masters degree (Diplom-Politologue) in Political Science at the University of Hamburg between 1979-1986. He received a doctoral degree from the University of Hamburg, Faculty of Social Sciences.


He started his career in 1987 with the Hamburg University Computer Science Department as a research officer studying the impact of office automation systems on white-collar workers.

In 1988 he joined the German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE/GDI) in Berlin as a fellow. He worked on industrial competitiveness, technological change, and private sector development. He had several research projects focused on Latin America. During this time he co-developed the framework of Systemic Competitiveness with Klaus Esser, Wolfgang Hillebrand and Dirk Messner [1]. Following his death, the German Development Institute described Jörg as one of Germanys most creative and productive development researchers[2].

In 1998, he joined the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) at the University of Duisburg [3]. He led a project to assess and evaluate the overall performance of structural policy in North Rhine-Westphalia. During this time, he represented Germany on the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (UNCSTD).

In 2003, he was a founding partner of the consultancy firm Mesopartner[4].


Systemic Competitiveness

Together with Klaus Esser, Wolfgang Hillebrand, and Dirk Messner, Jörg Meyer-Stamer developed the concept of “systemic competitiveness”. The DIE-GDI described the concept of Systemic Competitiveness as having a key impact on the discussion, both in Germany and internationally, on strategies suited to integrating developing countries into the world economy.[2]

Local Economic Development

Jörg was a strong proponent of Local Economic Development. He was a vocal critic of planning driven Local Economic Development (LED) approaches[5]. He argued that a planning driven approach would sideline local stakeholders, and put the responsibility on the shoulder of local government. He claimed that LED is a learning approach and that this learning takes place as local stakeholders from different spheres work together to address local problems and opportunities. The strengthening of local trust and a focus on addressing local market failures was a theme throughout his work. He also suggested that a light touch approach focused on quick win activities is more suitable to start a local economic development process, and once the process is more mature and established a more planning driven approach involving more project management could be introduced.

The concepts Jörg developed have strongly influenced the work of international development organisations such as the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit[6] and the Inter American Development Bank (IADB).


Esser, K., Hillebrand, W., Messner, D. and Meyer-Stamer, J. 1996. Systemic Competitiveness. New Patterns for Industrial Development. London: Frank Cass.

Giordano, P., Lazafame, F. and Meyer-Stamer, J. 2005. Asymmetries In Regional Integration and Local Development. Washington, D.C: Inter-American Development Bank.

Book Chapters

Meyer-Stamer, J. 2004. Paradoxes and ironies of locational policy in the new global economy. In Local enterprises in the global economy. Issues of governance and upgrading. Schmitz, H. (Ed.), Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp: 326-368.

Meyer-Stamer, J. 2005. Local Economic Development: What Makes It Difficult; What Makes It Work. In Asymmetries In Regional Integration and Local Development. Giordano, P., Lazafame, F. and Meyer-Stamer, J. (Eds.), Washington, D.C: Inter-American Development Bank.

Haar, J. and Meyer-Stamer, J. 2008. Small firms, global markets: challenges in the new economy. In Small firms, global markets: challenges in the new economy. Haar, J. and Meyer-Stamer, J. (Eds.), New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Meyer-Stamer, J. 2008. Systemic competitiveness and Local Economic Development. In Bodhanya, S.Large Scale Systemic Change: Theories, Modelling and Practices.

Other publications

Meyer-Stamer, J. 1998. Path dependence in regional development: persistence and change in three industrial clusters in Santa Catarina, Brazil. World Development, Vol. 268 pp. 1495-1511.

Meyer-Stamer, J. and Wältring, F. 2000. Behind the Myth of Mittelstand Economy. The Institutional Environment Supporting Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Germany. INEF-Report 46/2000: INEF [7]

Meyer-Stamer, J., Maggi, C. and Giese, M. 2004. Die Strukturkrise der Strukturpolitik : Tendenzen der Mesopolitik in Nordrhein-Westfalen. 1. Aufl. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.

Cunningham, S. and Meyer-Stamer, J. 2005. Planning or doing local economic development? Problems with the orthodox approach to LED. Africa Insight, 35(1). [5]

Meyer-Stamer, J. 2009. Modern industrial policy or postmodern industrial policy. Duisburg: Mesopartner and Freidrich Ebert Foundation.

Working papers, reports and other publications

A list of his academic papers and books can be found on Researchgate [8].

A list of his working papers and concepts notes are available for free on the Mesopartner website [4]


  1. Entwicklungspolitik, Deutsches Institut für. "Systemic competitiveness: new governance patterns for industrial development". www.die-gdi.de.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Entwicklungspolitik, Deutsches Institut für. "Griefs for Jörg Meyer-Stamer". www.die-gdi.de.
  3. "News". www.uni-due.de.
  4. 4.0 4.1 www.mesopartner.com
  5. 5.0 5.1 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265199651_Planning_or_Doing_Local_Economic_Development_The_Problems_with_the_Orthodox_Approach_to_LED
  6. Rucker, A. and Trah, G. 2007. Local and Regional Economic Development. Towards a common framework for GTZ’s LRED interventions in South Africa. Eschborn: Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenerarbeit (GTZ) GmbH.
  7. http://www.meso-nrw.de/toolkit/Downloads/SME-Promotion%20in%20Germany%20neu.doc
  8. https://www.researchgate.net/scientific-contributions/26263523_Joerg_Meyer-Stamer

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