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Learning Regions

  • By: Bjørn Asheim
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The concept of learning regions reflects the rapid economic development in places such as the “Third Italy” (that country's high-technology zone centered on Emilia-Romagna), which drew attention to the importance of cooperation between small- and medium-sized establishments (SMEs) in industrial districts and between firms and local authorities at the regional level in achieving international competitiveness. Theoretically, the idea reflects the view of post-Fordist societies as learning economies, where innovation is seen as a socially and territorially embedded, interactive learning process that cannot be understood independently of its institutional and cultural contexts.

Although these contributions share a common emphasis on the important role of innovation as contextualized social processes of interactive learning, they also disclose interesting differences. One such difference can be identified between the American and ...

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