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Tüzin Baycan and Hugo Pinto
This volume brings together regional scientists interested in the study of crisis and innovation dynamics. Resilience here is used as a bridging notion to connect different types of theoretical and empirical approaches to the comprehension of the impacts of economic turbulence at the system and actor levels. The volume helps to rethink how regional resilience can be improved and how the social aspects of vulnerability, resilience and innovation can be integrated. It also addresses recent theories and concepts related to research on crisis, resilience and innovation dynamics, providing a valuable overview and introduction to this rapidly emerging field for academics, policy-makers, researchers and students who share a common interest in and commitment to resilience and innovation.
Jana Schmutzler, Marcela Suarez, Alexandra Tsvetkova and Alessandra Faggian
This introductory chapter synthesizes the arguments presented by the book contributors and argues that a broad definition of innovation systems is appropriate in the context of developing and transition countries. By weaving in specific examples from the chapters, the introduction demonstrates the importance of a context-specific approach that takes into account sociocultural context, macroeconomic structures and institutions. Taken as a whole, the book shows how the system level of National Innovation Systems (NIS) influences the way firms and other actors build up competences and learn, while the outcomes of interactions among these actors at the micro level shape the NIS environment.
Robert Huggins and Piers Thompson
The field of regional development is subject to an ever increasing multiplicity of concepts and theories seeking to explain uneven development across regional contexts. One concept and theoretical tool that has endured and remained keenly discussed since the 1990s is ‘regional competitiveness’. Indeed, the rise of the concept has led to many frameworks and applications emerging and being employed in various contexts. Such variety has been both a blessing and a curse, with the notion of the ‘competitiveness of regions’ remaining an area of contested theoretical debate, especially arguments concerning the extent to which places actually compete for resources and markets. This chapter presents a broad overview of the evolution of regional competitiveness thinking, and aims to make clear the connections across a variety of contemporary regional development theories. The chapter firstly introduces the regional competitiveness concept and discusses its close association with schools of endogenous growth and development theory. The potential for measuring regional competitiveness is considered, before the chapter turns its attention to providing an introduction to some key contemporary theoretical perspectives on regional development. In particular the ideas of regional growth systems, institutions, ‘upstream’ behavioural theories of regional development concerning both cultural and psychological explanations, and concepts of regional ‘resilience’ and ‘well-being’ are considered. The chapter concludes by considering how the differing theoretical perspectives can be integrated, as well as providing an outline of the volume as a whole.