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Clusters: A Mesmerising Mantra




This paper argues that the cluster model of local economic growth is model that became a message that is now a mantra. It is an approach that has extended its explanatory reach through the accretion of layers of contingency. The paper suggests seven major limitations that undermine the explanatory power of what is now a mesmeric policy prescription for local economic development. It neglects the imperatives of capitalism, underestimates of the impact of unequal power relations on business relationships, fails to incorporate time, fetishises proximity, treats entrepreneurship simplistically, promotes the chaotic concept of institutional thickness, and is limited by the chaotic concept of social capital. It is concluded that a more nuanced and empirically grounded approach to agglomerated local growth is needed and a set of research questions is suggested. Copyright (c) 2010 by the Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG.

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  • Michael Taylor, 2010. "Clusters: A Mesmerising Mantra," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 101(3), pages 276-286, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:tvecsg:v:101:y:2010:i:3:p:276-286

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Pinto, Hugo & Cruz, Ana Rita & Combe, Colin, 2015. "Cooperation and the emergence of maritime clusters in the Atlantic: Analysis and implications of innovation and human capital for blue growth," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 167-177.
    2. Booyens Irma & Rogerson Christian M., 2016. "Unpacking the geography of tourism innovation in Western Cape Province, South Africa," Bulletin of Geography. Socio-economic Series, De Gruyter Open, vol. 31(31), pages 19-36, March.

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