Economy and Society in Europe

Economy and Society in Europe

A Relationship in Crisis

Edited by Luigi Burroni, Maarten Keune and Guglielmo Meardi

While an economy is always ‘embedded’ in society, the relationship between the two is undergoing profound changes in Europe, resulting in widespread instability which is emphasised by the current crisis. This book analyses these changes, and in particular pressures of intensifying international competition, globalization and financialization within Europe.

Chapter 10: The Boundaries between Economy and Society in European Cities

Luigi Burroni

Subjects: politics and public policy, european politics and policy, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, economics of social policy, labour policy


1 Luigi Burroni ECONOMY, SOCIETY AND GOVERNANCE AT LOCAL LEVEL During recent years a growing strand of research has focused on the socalled globalization paradox: the global competitiveness of firms and economic systems is increasingly rooted in the local institutional endowment and it depends on how effective local actors are in boosting external economies and creating stable locational advantages. This means that globalization increases the territorial mobility of companies but at the same time it renders them more dependent on their external context: the institutional context plays a key role in reinforcing the competitive advantage of a place thanks to contextual resources that have been recently defined as ‘local collective competition goods’ (Crouch et al. 2001, 2004). They include tangible elements such as infrastructure, logistics, services, the availability of qualified employees, the presence of research and development centres, the provision of information on new markets, the availability of specific transport infrastructures, but also intangible components such as cooperation relationships, that is, social networks, trust, skills and tacit knowledge. This paradox has been emphasized also by the recent financial crisis that since 2007 has interested all EU countries: a large number of cities are facing important processes of economic restructuring, and the outcomes of these processes seem to be strongly influenced by the quality of collective resources available in each city. The analysis of local governance modes, based on the study of the role played by organizations, institutions and actors in the production/provision of local competition goods, is a valid research...

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