This paper was presented at a European conference on regional planning organized by Dudley Seers and Kjell Öström in February 1981. The meeting took place at Luleå University in the heart of a famous coal-mining district in northern Sweden. The frozen ground beneath our feet was hollowed out with miles upon miles of mining shafts and subterranean corridors. It was a bleak setting in which to take stock of our knowledge of the development of regions.