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André Torre

The purpose of this chapter is to analyse and establish the link between territorial development and proximity relations, in order to show how the proximity-based approach could help gain a better understanding of territorial development processes. It is based on the idea that the definition of two main categories of territorial innovations and their inclusion in a new interpretation of Hirschman’s tripod, of exit–voice–loyalty, open the way to new analyses of the combinations of proximities that will help to determine the foundations and the occurrence of territorial development processes. We first provide a precise and well-supported definition of territorial development, before analysing and discussing the two driving forces behind territorial development – relationships of production and modes of governance – while exploring their theoretical legacy in light of the proximity studies. Then we conduct a detailed static analysis of the link between proximity relationships and territorial development processes by widening the notions of innovation and of Hirschman’s tripod to include territorial situations – relating to production or governance. Eventually we provide a dynamic analysis of the paths to territorial development and their links to proximity relations.

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Edited by André Torre and Frédéric Wallet

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Alain Rallet and André Torre

This chapter argues that new approaches to the geographical dimension of innovation and its role in localized systems are necessary today, because existing ones either suffer from analytical shortcomings or have failed to take into account changes in the conception of innovation and in the organization of contemporary societies. The first section is devoted to the cluster-oriented approach, which highlights the systemic nature of innovation processes – seen as less and less technology-based – thereby moving closer towards a definition of industrial ecosystems. Then, we discuss the coordination-based approach, highlighting shortcomings in the analysis of the concepts of proximity and their coordination-related dimension. Finally, we discuss the need for a broader conception of innovation, and the necessity to look beyond its technological dimension by considering new forms and new sources of innovation, linked to social and organizational issues as well as environmental questions and the relation with local populations’ desire to express themselves.

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Claude Dupuy and André Torre