The Cluster Approach and the Dynamics of Regional Policy-Making

The recent emergence of the cluster concept represents one of the most common policy approaches to addressing the tensions between globalization and localization. Originally articulated in the work of Porter, Enright and others though building on longer traditions such as the work of Marshall and the innovative milieu research by the GREMI group the factors influencing the propensity of industries to cluster in certain locations have been extensively examined over the past decade. The resulting clusters have been interpreted as self-reinforcing networks of not just firms, but a range of other organizations including research institutes, universities, financial bodies and public sector agencies all of which are characterized by high levels of both competition and collaboration. Interest in the cluster concept has been especially apparent in economic development policy, as demonstrated by the increasing support local development policy, as demonstrated by the increasing support for cluster development at both national and sub-national levels. As a result, cluster policies have proliferated over the past decade both those clearly designated as such and related policy initiatives such as regional innovation strategies and measures to support local production systems even though as a whole, the implementing governments have had little in common in their ideological attitude towards economic intervention.

  • Authors: Philip Raines
  • Year: 2001
  • Organisation: University of Srathclyde
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