Working Regions: Reconnecting Innovation and Production in the Knowledge Economy, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Working Regions

Reconnecting Innovation and Production in the Knowledge Economy, 1st Edition

By Jennifer Clark


216 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

Look Inside
Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138798526
pub: 2014-05-19
SAVE ~$11.99
Hardback: 9780415676892
pub: 2013-05-15
SAVE ~$32.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203549346
pub: 2013-05-29
from $29.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


Working Regions focuses on policy aimed at building sustainable and resilient regional economies in the wake of the global recession. Using examples of four ‘working regions’ — regions where research and design functions and manufacturing still coexist in the same cities — the book argues for a new approach to regional economic development. It does this by highlighting policies that foster innovation and manufacturing in small firms, focus research centers on pushing innovation down the supply chain, and support dynamic, design-driven firm networks.

This book traces several key themes underlying the core proposition that for a region to work, it has to link research and manufacturing activities — namely, innovation and production — in the same place. Among the topics discussed in this volume are the issues of how the location of research and development infrastructure produces a clear role of the state in innovation and production systems, and how policy emphasis on pre-production processes in the 1990s has obscured the financialization of intellectual property. Throughout the book, the author draws on examples from diverse industries, including the medical devices industry and the US photonics industry, in order to illustrate the different themes of working regions and the various institutional models operating in various countries and regions.


Jennifer Clark’s Working Regions is a timely and welcome addition to the growing literature discussing the new developments required in regional economic policies in order to construct resilient working regions capable of responding to exogenous shocks. The book addresses some of the key themes current in economic geography, including the links between proximity and innovation, and highlights some of the rethinking of regional development policy options that has been taking place recently, and particularly in the light of experiences in the aftermath 2008 global financial crisis. For the broader scope of issues, this is a book that can easily be of interest to economists, geographers, policy scientists and other social scientists. It illustrates each of the issues raised on the basis of real case studies and specific examples. There is a wealth of information and evidence provided spanning issues of technology and institutions, as well as detailed insights into the workings of particular sectors including photonics and apparel, all of which is brought together to underpin the book’s main contentions.

Raquel Ortega-Argilés

University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands

This review appeared in the journal Regional Studies.

Table of Contents

1. Working Regions: Regeneration by design 2. The Spatial Distribution of Advanced Manufacturing 3. The Rise of the Research Center: The nexus between national innovation policies and regional development 4. The Trade in Innovation: The evolution of intellectual property markets 5. Hidden in Plain Sight: The North American optics and photonics industry 6. Working Regions in Practice: Apparel and outdoor equipment and medical devices industries 7. Flexible Specialization 2.0: The design + build approach to working regions

About the Author

Jennifer Clark is Associate Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, USA. She writes, consults, and speaks on the subject of national and regional development policies related to innovation and manufacturing, and the effect of those policies on cities and their economic competitiveness. Her book Remaking Regional Economies: Power, Labor, and Firm Strategies in the Knowledge Economy, a collaboration with Susan Christopherson, won the Best Book Award from the Regional Studies Association in 2009 and is also published by Routledge.

About the Series

Regions and Cities

In today’s globalised, knowledge-driven and networked world, regions and cities have assumed heightened significance as the interconnected nodes of economic, social and cultural production, and as sites of new modes of economic governance and policy experimentation. This book series brings together incisive and critically engaged international and interdisciplinary research on this resurgence of regions and cities, and should be of interest to geographers, economists, sociologists, political scientists and cultural scholars, as well as to policy-makers involved in regional and urban development.

If you would like to discuss a potential new book for the series, please contact:

Joan Fitzgerald – [email protected] – Series Editor-in-Chief, or

Natalie Tomlinson – [email protected] – Routledge Commissioning Editor

For more information on the Regional Studies Association, visit


Did you know that as a Regional Studies Association member you’re entitled to a 30% discount on all Routledge books? To order, simply email Luke McNicholas ([email protected]), or phone on +44 (0) 20 701 77545 and declare your RSA membership.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Business Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development