Changing Governance of Local Economies
Responses of European Local Production Systems
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Changing Governance of Local Economies by Colin Crouch
Book DescriptionThis book examines patterns of economic governance in three specific, contrasting, contexts: machinery-producing districts; declining steel cities; and clusters of high-technology activities. Building on the work of their previous book (Local Production Systems in Europe: Rise or Demise? OUP 2001), which charted the recent development of local clusters of specialized manufacturing among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom, the authors find patterns of economic governance far more complex and dynamic than usually described in a literature which insists on identifying simple national approaches. The machinery industries were often identified in the literature of the 1980s as prominent cases of industrial district formation, which were then considerably weakened by the crises of the mid-1990s. Did clustering help these industries and their associated districts to respond to challenge, or only weaken them further? The case studies focus on the Bologna and Modena area of Emilia-Romagna, Stuttgart in Baden-Wurttemberg, Birmingham and Coventry in the English west midlands, but generally in France where there are very few local concentrations. Even while some thought local production systems were in crisis, national governments and the European Commission continued to recommend their approach to areas experiencing economic decline. This was particularly the case for cities that had been dependent on a small number of large corporations in industries that would no longer be major employers. Political and business leaders in these areas were encouraged to diversify, in particular through SMEs. Could this be done in response to external pressure, given that successful local production systems depend on endogenous vitality? The authors ask these questions of former steel-producing cities St. Etienne, Duisburg, Piombino, and Sheffield. The idea that local production systems had had their day was challenged by clear evidence of clustering among SMEs in a number of flourishing high-tech industries in parts of the USA and western Europe. Why do scientists, other specialists and firms actively embedded in global networks, bother with geographical proximity? This question is addressed by examining the software firms at Grenoble, the mass media cluster in Cologne, the information technology sector around Pisa, and the Oxfordshire biotechnology region.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780199259403
(242mm x 162mm x 25mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 26-Feb-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Colin Crouch
Society and Social Change in 21st Century Europe, Paperback (July 2016)
An authoritative but accessible introduction to all key aspects of life across contemporary Europe focusing in particular on the dynamics of social change and similarities and differences between groups of European states and in contrast to other advanced industrial societies.
Knowledge Corrupters: Hidden Consequences of the Financial Takeover of Public Life, Hardback (October 2015)
* Colin Crouch has recently become one of the world's leading voices on neoliberalism and the financial takeover of social values * In this new book, Crouch continues to explore the themes of his previous successful books: Post-Democracy, The Strange Non-Death of Neoliberalism and Making Capitalism Fit For Society.
Magnus Force, Paperback (October 2013)
International Master Colin Crouch demonstrates how Magnus Carlsen was able to elevate his play to a stratospheric level and become the highest-rated chess player in the history of the game, breaking Garry Kasparov's record.
Making Capitalism Fit for Society, Hardback (September 2013)» View all books by Colin Crouch
Capitalism is the only complex system known to us that can provide an efficient and innovative economy, but the financial crisis has brought out the pernicious side of capitalism and shown that it remains dependent on the state to rescue it from its own deficiencies.
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Author Biography - Colin Crouch
Colin Crouch is currently head of the department of social and political sciences and professor of sociology at the European University Institute, Florence. He is chairman, and former joint editor, of The Political Quarterly, and chairman-elect of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE). He is also the External Scientific member of the Max-Planck-Institute for Social Research at Cologne. He has published within the fields of comparative European sociology and industrial relations, on economic sociology, and on contemporary issues in British and European politics. He is currently studying processes of institutional innovation in the economy and in public policy, in an approach critical of recent deterministic tendencies in neo-institutionalist theories Patrick Le Gales is a CNRS Research Professor in Sociology and Politics at CEVIPOF/Sciences Po, Paris, where he teaches. He has been a visitor at Nuffield College, Oxford, and the Maison Francaise, Oxford. He edits the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. His recent work includes Les Economies Politiques du Capitalisme (with B. Palier, 2002) and European Cities: Social Conflicts and Governance (OUP 2002). Carlo Trigilia is Professor of Economic Sociology at the University of Florence. His recent works includes Economics Sociology: State, Market, and Society in Modern Capitalism (2002). Helmut Voelzkow is a wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter at the Max Planck Institute for Society Research at Cologne, where he works on economic sociology, economic structural change and policy, and technological development. He gained his Habilitation at the Ruhr-Universitat Bochum, Faultat fur Sozialwissenschaft. His publications include Mehr Technik in die Region (1990) and Private Regierungen in der Techniksteuerung (1996).
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