A Handbook of Industrial Districts
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A Handbook of Industrial Districts

Edited by Giacomo Becattini, Marco Bellandi and Lisa De Propis

In this comprehensive original reference work, the editors have brought together an unrivalled group of distinguished scholars and practitioners to comment on the historical and contemporary role of industrial districts (IDs).
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Chapter 24: Culture as a Productive Resource, International Networks and Local Development

Olivier Crevoisier and Leïla Kebir


Olivier Crevoisier and Leïla Kebir* 1. Cultures and the economy: a much-debated articulation One feature shared by knowledge and culture today is the fact that they are widely thematised in economic literature and in discussion of regional devel p ent.1 o m During the course of economic development over recent centuries, there have been numerous crisis and reconstitution phases. On each occasion they have raised the question of what basis, and from what ‘objects’ (de osits, soil, technologies and p so on) can new innovative processes be triggered and subsequently, when they take place in line with the capitalist model, what new processes of accumulation will develop? Today, it would appear that knowledge, culture and art are all perceived as central ‘objects’ within eco omic development (Boltanski and n Chiapello 2005). Aspects that bear witness to this are the rise of cultural industries, the dematerialisation of in ustrial assets – whose value increasingly lies in their d symbolic and communication values – the development of new forms of tourism such as ‘green’ tourism and commercial leisure. They participate effectively and continuously towards constructing the economic value of regions and to ards w growth. Gaining an understanding of this phenomenon opens up rich possibilities for reflection on an academic level, where contributions linking ‘economics’ and ‘culture’ have multiplied over recent years (see, for exam le, James, Martin p and Sunley 2007). Culture can be distinguished from the other resources that are mobilised because of its intrinsic link to the societies and communities...

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