Bulletin n. 2/2016
December 2016
  • Section A) The theory and practise of the federal states and multi-level systems of government
  • Section B) Global governance and international organizations
  • Section C) Regional integration processes
  • Section D) Federalism as a political idea
  • Williams Nick, Brooks Chay, Vorley Tim
    Hidden clusters: the articulation of agglomeration in City Regions
    in Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy , Volume 34, Issue 8, December ,  2016 ,  1776-1792
    For many years, local economic development has been driven by the desire to maintain, attract and nurture clusters of economic activity in targeted industrial sectors. However, where clusters are not conventionally sector-based, public policy needs to develop alternative approaches to leverage the economic benefits and realise competitive advantage. Drawing on a study of the Sheffield City Region (SCR), the paper explores the challenge of leveraging ‘hidden’ cross-sectoral clusters, which do not fit dominant discourses of agglomeration-led growth. We posit that it is the cross-sectoral connections and networks in the SCR which represent its key strength, yet these are only partially reflected by current place marketing and policy considerations, and, in many ways, are overlooked and thus remain ‘hidden’. The paper argues that the competitive advantage of the SCR is undermined when it characterises clusters in terms of industrial sectors, and instead needs to articulate its strengths as a strategically important industrial centre. The paper concludes by drawing out a number of implications for academic theory and policy development.
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