Strategies for Shaping Territorial Competitiveness
Edited by Jesús M. Valdaliso, James R. Wilson
Routledge – 2014 – 256 pages
People, firms and other institutions all need the right environment to thrive. In this sense, territories – cities, regions and nations – are the critical building blocks for competitiveness and development in the world economy. However, while it has long been common to analyse the strategies of firms, until recently analysis of territorial strategies has been relatively neglected.
There has been widespread recognition that territories need to construct development strategies that are focused on shaping sustainable competitive advantages which draw upon their own unique resources, competencies and capabilities alongside intelligence on existing technological and market trends. There has also been a general consensus that territorial strategy and indeed ‘new industrial policy’ should not be about the articulation of choices ‘top-down’ from government, but that instead it should be the result of diffused processes carried out among different agents and organizations within the territory. Yet there remains a large gap in understanding around how these processes take place and how they can be articulated towards coherent strategies capable of shaping competitiveness in the specific contexts of different territories. This book builds on a strong trajectory of research in order to provide insights around the concept of territorial strategy and the processes that surround it. The first part of the book develops a framework for understanding and analysing territorial strategy through analysis of a series of key concepts: territorial competitiveness; territorial strategy; competitiveness policies; smart specialization; and the evaluation of territorial strategies. The second part of the book is then dedicated to exploring this framework in practice through application to a series of unique cases from around the world. Each case offers something different and enables the framework to be thoroughly tested, generating conclusions that add real value to scholars and policy-makers interested in and working in the field of territorial strategy.
Jesus M. Valdaliso is Professor of Economic History at the School of Economics and Business Administration of the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao, Spain
James R. Wilson is the Director, Territory, Innovation and Clusters, Orkestra, at the Basque Institute of Competitiveness, Spain. He is also Adjunct Faculty, Deusto Business School, University of Deusto, Spain.