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Hans Westlund

This chapter discusses the role of the railway in the regional industrialization of Scandinavia. It is focused on two questions: Did the emerging industry spur building of railways or did the building of railways promote the industrial development? Did the causes and effects change direction over time? Moreover, the related issue of the relationship between industry’s regional concentration and dispersion, on the one hand, and national economic growth, on the other, is discussed with examples from Sweden and Norway.

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Hans Westlund and Johan P. Larsson

This introductory chapter treats four issues: general relationships between social capital and space; what regional development is; the importance of social capital for regional development; and a summary of the other chapters. The first section contains a discussion on the relationships between social capital and space, distance, barriers and spatial hierarchies on how social capital is affected by, but also has an impact on these phenomena. The next section deals with and problematizes the question of what regional development is in forms of economic outcomes, well-being and various aspects of sustainability. Based on the view that social capital is created in all sectors of society as well as between them, the third section discusses which forms of social capital are most important for regions’ development. One important conclusion is that ‘maximum’ social capital seldom is the best solution. Instead, the best social capital for regional development can be described as optimum combinations of homogeneity and heterogeneity, bonding and bridging links and different ‘vintages’ of networks, norms and values. Finally, the chapters of the book are summarized.

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Edited by Hans Westlund and Johan P. Larsson

The role of social capital in regional development is a multifaceted topic which is studied all over the world using various methods and across numerous disciplines. It has long been evident that social capital is important for regional development, however, it is less clear how this works in practice. Do all types of social capital have the same effects and are different kinds of regions impacted in the same way? This book is the first to offer an overview of this rapidly expanding field of research and to thoroughly analyse the complex issue of social capital and regional development.
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Edited by Hans Westlund and Kiyoshi Kobayashi

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Yuheng Li and Hans Westlund

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Edited by Hans Westlund and Kiyoshi Kobayashi

Social capital is often considered a key factor for local development. This book analyzes the role of social capital for rural areas’ survival and development in the current age of metropolitan growth – an era in which urban is the norm and where rural areas must adapt to this new situation and build innovative urban-rural relations.
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Hans Westlund and Yuheng Li