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Robert Hassink

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Robert Hassink and Dirk Fornahl

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The Life Cycle of Clusters

A Policy Perspective

Edited by Dirk Fornahl and Robert Hassink

One-size-fits-all cluster policies have been rightly criticized in the literature. One promising approach is to focus cluster policies on the specific needs of firms depending on the stage of development (emergence, growth, sustainment or decline) their cluster is in. In this highly insightful book, these stage-specific cluster policies are analysed and evaluated. Moreover, several chapters also focus on smart specialization policies to promote regional development by taking into account the emergence and adaptation of clusters and industries.
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Huiwen Gong and Robert Hassink

One of the most intriguing questions in economic geography is why it is that some regional economies manage to renew themselves, whereas others remain locked in decline. In addition to evolutionary concepts, the idea of resilience is derived from ecology, psychology and disaster studies to tackle this question. After a strong critique of the regional resilience concept in 2010 pointing at three fundamental shortcomings, namely the focus on equilibrium and multi-equilibriums, the neglect of state, institutions and policy at several spatial levels and, the neglect of culture and social factors affecting adaptability, a burgeoning conceptual and empirical literature on regional resilience has emerged. This chapter therefore aims at revisiting the early critique on the basis of a review of this recent literature. It concludes that although most critique has been taken seriously, other, new challenges have recently emerged, such as the fuzziness of the concept, both among academic researchers and policy-makers, the way how to measure resilience and the way how evolutionary analysis should be carried out.