The Life Cycle of Clusters

A Policy Perspective

Edited by Dirk Fornahl, Centre for Regional and Innovation Economics, University of Bremen and Robert Hassink, Department of Geography, Kiel University, Germany

One-size-fits-all cluster policies have been rightly criticized in the literature. One promising approach is to focus cluster policies on the specific needs of firms depending on the stage of development (emergence, growth, sustainment or decline) their cluster is in. In this highly insightful book, these stage-specific cluster policies are analysed and evaluated. Moreover, several chapters also focus on smart specialization policies to promote regional development by taking into account the emergence and adaptation of clusters and industries.

‘This excellent book fills an important gap in the literature on clusters and cluster policy. In my view, it is the most comprehensive overview on evolutionary cluster thinking to date and therefore a must read for scholars in the field. But thanks to its relevant ideas, policy lessons and case studies, I also consider it a good read for forward-looking policy makers involved in cluster development.’
– Gert-Jan Hospers, University of Twente, the Netherlands

‘Clusters pass through life cycles – they emerge, grow, mature and ultimately decline. Unlike the human body, however, they can adapt and transform to escape their terminal fate. This cyclic nature of cluster development has long been ignored by static and one-size-fits-all policy approaches. Linking cluster life cycles to cluster policies and initiatives, this carefully edited book bridges that gap by bringing together established scholars and experienced consultants. It is thus essential reading for scholars, students, policy-makers and practitioners.’
– Matthias Kiese, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany

‘Overall, the book offers a balanced discussion of theoretical ideas and empirical findings and provides a thought-provoking counter narrative to conventional cluster policies that view industrial clusters as static entities. . . As such, this book would likely to serve well as a guide for consultants and policy makers as well as academics.'
– Science and Public Policy


2017 328 pp Hardback 978 1 78471 927 2 £135.00 £105.00 $135.00 $150.00

Elgaronline 978 1 78471 928 9

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