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Charlie Karlsson

In recent years and not least after the latest financial and economic crisis, we have seen a strongly renewed interest for industrial policy to get the developed economies growing again. Politicians and their experts and advisers have been hunting desperately for new approaches to industrial policy and have increasingly started to act as political entrepreneurs. The renewed interest in industrial policy and the increased importance of political entrepreneurs urge us once again to ask the fundamental question of what should be the proper focus, measures and extent of industrial policy. Should the industrial policy be vertical and focus on specific industries and even specific companies or should it be horizontal and focus on improving the general conditions for all industries and firms? However, there is a related and partly more controversial question, namely, what is the proper spatial scale for policy interventions by political entrepreneurs? Should industrial policy focus on certain places and possibly focus on existing and/or emerging industrial clusters or should it be spatially neutral and not try to discriminate between different regions and places? The purpose of this chapter is to throw some light on all above questions but with some extra focus on the questions concerning the spatial aspects.

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Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Martin Andersson and Lina Bjerke

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Martin Andersson, Lina Bjerke and Charlie Karlsson