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Local Enterprises in the Global Economy

Issues of Governance and Upgrading


I would highly recommend the book for all those interested and seeking insights into local development, small businesses and industrial policy in a global context. Peter van Dierman, Growth & Change The book presents the results of an international research project, jointly organized by the Institute of Development Studies (United Kingdom) and the Institute for Development and Peace (Germany). It assembles the insights of over a dozen scholars from Western European and Latin American countries, many of whom are leading experts, and collects a wide range of examples and views that broaden and systematize our knowledge of the topic. Thus, the book represents a kind of milestone publication in its field. . . . the book extends frontiers of knowledge in various respects, in regard to conceptual, empirical, and political issues. Martina Fromhold-Eisebith, Economic Geography . . . this is an important book that combines a very interesting mix of regional and comparative case studies, based on a sound conceptualization presented in a reflexive manner. It pushes forward the debate on regional development and upgrading in a global economy. . . Martin Hess, Journal of Economic Geography . . . the book provides an extremely valuable role in making the findings of recent research across a number of continents available to a wide audience and certainly brings a welcome degree of analytical precision and global awareness to the cluster debates. Diane Perrons, Economic Geography Research Group Local Enterprises in the Global Economy is an important contribution to a debate that is currently gathering momentum throughout the social sciences. At the core of this debate is the role of regions in economic development processes, not only in the more economically advanced countries of the world, but also and more urgently in low- and middle-income countries. With its emphasis on the need for local economic development strategies to deal with intensifying global opportunities and threats, this book pushes the debate forward into hitherto largely uncharted territory. Allen J. Scott, University of California, Los Angeles, US This book opens a fresh chapter in the debate on local enterprise clusters and their strategies for upgrading in the global economy. The authors employ a novel conceptual framework in their research on industrial clusters in Europe, Latin America and Asia and provide new perspectives and insights for researchers and policymakers alike. The debate on local upgrading capacity is torn between two lines of thinking: those who believe that local relationships between enterprises and institutions are key to upgrading, and those who argue that the spaces for upgrading are defined by the sourcing strategies of global buyers. From this debate a number of important questions arise: how feasible is it to develop local upgrading strategies? Can local policy networks make a difference, or do global forces undermine them? Do global quality and labour standards marginalise developing country producers or do they help them to upgrade? To answer these questions, the book brings together theoretical and empirical research on local and regional clusters, global value chains and global standards, using case studies from developed and developing countries. The authors provide a new understanding of how global and local governance interact, highlighting power and inequality in global chains but also identifying scope for local action. By showing how and why insertion in global value chains can accelerate or inhibit local upgrading, this book represents a significant contribution to the academic and political debate on globalization. It will be essential reading for all students, academics and researchers interested in global political economy, global and local governance structures, economic geography and innovation studies.

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