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Cluster Policies in Europe

Firms, Institutions, and Governance Susana Borrás, Professor of Innovation and Governance, Head of Department of Business and Politic, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark and Dimitrios Tsagdis, Lecturer in International Business and Research Methods, Hull University Business School, UK
This book provides a systematic, comprehensive, and independent comparative study of cluster policies in Europe. It focuses upon one very important relationship that has so far been neglected in the literature, namely, the extent to which the complex dynamics of multi-level governance (MLG) are responding to the problems and challenges faced by clusters, in particular the extent to which MLG learns and supports cluster learning.
Extent: 304 pp
Hardback Price: $140.00 Web: $126.00
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN: 978 1 84542 758 0
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Industrial Economics
  • Urban and Regional Studies
  • Clusters
This book provides a systematic, comprehensive, and independent comparative study of cluster policies in Europe. It focuses upon one very important relationship that has so far been neglected in the literature, namely, the extent to which the complex dynamics of multi-level governance (MLG) are responding to the problems and challenges faced by clusters, in particular the extent to which MLG learns and supports cluster learning.

A range of low-tech (footwear and clothing), medium-tech (furniture and film), and high-tech (automotive and ICT) clusters at different evolutionary stages are studied in Germany, Italy, the UK, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, and Romania. The book explores their origins and evolution, firm configurations and interactions, knowledge sources, labour markets, levels of internationalisation, and institutional and policy frameworks. Utilising multiple methods that combine quantitative and qualitative data collected face-to-face from senior representatives of some 500 firms and institutions, the authors provide an interdisciplinary analysis and precise policy recommendations at cluster, regional, national, and EU levels.

Cluster Policies in Europe will be invaluable for policy makers, advisors and management consultants in Europe and elsewhere. It will also prove essential for students and scholars of international business and management, regional, institutional and industrial economics, political economy, innovation, governance, and European studies.
‘. . . this book is a significant outcome of extensive empirical research, which has been driven by clearly defined theoretical perspectives on governance, cluster policy and learning. It is extremely valuable not only to the relevant policy-makers and scholars; but also to firms that are the productive engines of innovation and economic growth within a cluster. It clearly demonstrates what firms and institutions can learn from each other, and that firms can influence public action at multiple levels to enhance their capabilities and those of the cluster.’
– Aygen Kurt-Dickson, Science and Public Policy

‘The researchers deserve compliments for their pioneering work.’
– Frank van Oort, Papers in Regional Science

‘The richness of information and relevant research finding about cluster governance provided by this book are outstanding. . . Congratulations to the authors for their remarkable book.’
– Anca Dachin, Romanian Journal of Regional Science

‘The authors have provided a valuable resource for students of clusters. The rich database and comparative analysis of the importance of activities and institutions across an array of clusters provide policymakers with insights needed to make informed decisions on new cluster initiatives.’
– Mark Henry, Review of Regional Studies

‘In the era of globalization, governance has become multi-level, from supra-national bodies down to local organizations. This important book suggests that to promote cluster development effectively, multi-level governance often requires an interaction between top-down and bottom-up policies. Or at least, more adaptable coordination between levels facilitates the fruitful co-evolution of policy at different governance levels, with firm learning in clusters. It warrants attention from those interested in global governance structures, as well as the dynamics of clusters.’
– John Cantwell, Rutgers University, US

‘There are numerous books on clusters but this is the first one on cluster policies. . . this book shows how the real-world of policy-making takes place in multi-level and complex frameworks, and that these frameworks are crucial for understanding different forms of cluster policy design and performance. I commend the authors for their insight and effort to assist in this difficult but necessary evolving process of understanding cluster policy and governance in their dynamic and ever-changing context.’
– From the preface by Phil Cooke
Contents: Foreword by Phil Cooke 1. Cluster Policies in Europe: Governance and Learning 2. Methodology 3. Cluster Policy in Germany 4. Cluster Policy in the United Kingdom 5. Cluster Policy in Italy 6. Cluster Policy in Slovenia 7. Cluster Policy in the Czech Republic 8. Cluster Policy in Romania 9. Comparative Findings and Conclusions References Index