Changing Governance of Local Economies: Responses of European Local Production Systems

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This 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 that usually described in a literature which insists on identifying simple national approaches. The machinery industries were often identifie in the literature of the 1980s as prominent cases of industrial district formation, which were then considerably weakened by the crises of the mid-1990's. 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 went 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 particularily 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 therough SMEs. Could this be done in response to external prssure, 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 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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199259403
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/6/2004
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

European University Institute, Florence


University of Florence

Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction, Colin Crouch and Helmut Voelzkow
Part I: Established Local Production Systems: The Machinery Industries
2. Introduction: The European Machinery Industry Under Pressure, Colin Crouch
3. Collective Goods in the Local Economy: The Packaging Machinery Cluster in Bologna, Henry arrell and Ann-Louise Lauridsen
4. Refining National Policy: The Machine Tool Industry in the Local Economy of Stuttgart, Ulrich Glassmann
5. Machine Tooling in the United Kingdom, Colin Crouch and Joe O'Mahoney
6. Machine Tools in France: A Century of Failure to Build a Competitive Industry, Patrick Le Galès and Nicolas Gaubert
7. Conclusions: Hybrid Governance and Networked Firms, Colin Crouch
Part II: Trying to Establish Local Production Systems: The Ex-Steel Cities
8. Introduction: The Reconstruction of Declining Local Economies in Europe, Helmut Voelzkow
9. Duisburg: A New Local Production System Substitutes an Old Steel Plant, Ulrich Glassmann and Helmut Voelzkow
10. Life after Industrial Decline in St. Etienne: Robust SMEs, Deterritorialization, and the Making of a Local Mode of Governance, Patrick Le Galès and Oliver Tirmarche
11. Regeneration in Sheffield: From Council Dominance to Partenership, Colin Crouch and Martin Scott Hill
12. Industrial Decline and Local Development Policies in the Steel Area of Piombino, Annalisa Tonarelli
13. Conclusion: After Steel: Some Minor Emergence of Local Production Systems Based on SMEs, Patrick Le Galès
Part III: New Local Production Systems: High-Tech Sectors
14. Introduction: High-Tech Districts, Carlo Trigilia
15. The Biopharmaceutical Cluster in Oxford, Neil Proudfoot
16. Recombining Governance Modes: The Media Sector in Cologne, Arne Baumann and Helmut Voelzkow
17. Between Cities and Districts: Local Software Systems in Italy, Andrea Biagiotti and Luigi Burroni
18. Grenoble Valley, Valeria Aniello
19. Conclusions: The Distinctive Needs of High-Tech Districts, Carlo Trigilia
20. Conclusions, Patrick Le Galès and Carlo Trigilia

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