Controversies in Local Economic Development: Stories, Strategies, Solutions
Efforts to promote the economic development of individual localities engage the attention of academics, students and professionals. Many such analysts argue that competitive advantage can be fostered within local economies, complementing the advent of a more globalised economy. Intensified efforts to build new economic foundations show no sign of abating despite the apparent increase in the international mobility of businesses and employment. Where once local economic development comprised mainly efforts to redistribute employment among regions within a national economy, in recent decades a large diversification in the tools and strategies promoted to local economic development officials has taken place. Benchmarking regional competitiveness, building a learning economy, supporting enterprise clusters, incubating high-tech enterprise, creating an environment appealing to the creative class and promoting eco-industrial development are among the aspirations frequently now informing local economic plans.
Unpicking the arguments supporting different strategies for promoting local economic development, Controversies in Local Economic Development is an introductory guide to some of the major ideas and policy tools that have influenced academic debate and development practice. Taking the view that economic processes are mechanisms that promote desired outcomes only in particular contexts, the book asks questions of both academic debates and the prescriptions of policy experts.
Designed to encourage a search for evidence rather than offering a set of policy solutions, this work nevertheless offers more than a critique of existing ideas. In place of the slavish replication of perceived best practice derived from exemplar economies, policy makers are challenged to think critically about the lessons to be applied from local economic development experiences. As an original and worthy contribution to the academic debate in this field, this work will prove invaluable to postgraduates and economic development professionals alike.
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