Clusters have become a key focus of urban and regional policy in advanced economies as regional specialisation in particular industries has come to be regarded as advantageous in the context of debates about globalization and the knowledge economy. In particular, spatial proximity between associated firms and organisations facilities is claimed to stimulate processes of innovation and learning. Consequently, governments have promoted dynamic clusters as a means of generating competitive advantage in particular cities and regions.
In this collection, these claims are critically assessed by drawing upon the work of leading specialists from Western Europe and North America. Going beyond the celebrated 'hot-spots' of economic development, the book draws upon evidence from a broader range of cities and regions to help fill some important gaps in our knowledge of how clusters operate within the contemporary global economy. Cluster dynamics are situated in time and space; interrogating both how firms, organisations and actors within clusters adapt to changes over time, and how clusters are embedded within broader spatial divisions of labour at regional, national and international scales.
This book was previously published as a special issue of the journal Urban Studies.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Clusters in urban and regional development 2. Clusters, Dispersion and the Spaces In Between: For an economic geography of the banal 3. The Cluster as Market Organization 4. Where is the Value-Added in the Cluster Approach? Hermeneutic theorising, economic geography and clusters as a multi-perspectival approach 5. Working through Knowledge Pools: Labour market dynamics, the transference of knowledge and ideas and industrial clusters 6. Entrepreneurial Activity and the Dynamics of Technology-Based Cluster Development: The case of Ottawa 7. Clusters from the Inside and Out: Lessons from the Canadian study of cluster development 8. Innovation and Clustering in the Globalized International Economy 9. Life Sciences Clusters and Regional Science Policy 10. Embryonic Knowledge Based Clusters and Cities: The case of biotechnology in Scotland 11. Knowledge-Based Clusters and Urban Location: The clustering of software consultancy in Oslo 12. Like a Phoenix from the Ashes? The renewal of clusters in old industrial areas
Andy Cumbers is a Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Glasgow. Danny MacKinnon is a Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Aberdeen.