Local Political Capital for Innovation in the Global Knowledge Economy
Paper in proceedings, 2010
Over the last decade, policy initiatives to promote innovativeness and growth, inspired by normative models of capacity building through industrial clusters, triple helix and innovation systems, have proliferated. Theories of economic development offer several explanations of the emergence of clusters in particular environments. Most theorists would argue that specific, natural, economic, or institutional factors determine capacity building in terms of cluster development. Other theorists emphasize the role of local social networks and phases of regional knowledge-based spaces in explaining the emergence of such capacity building. Neither of these theoretical streams offers systematic explanations of differences in the emergence and success of capacity building, beyond finding that crucial resources are unevenly distributed. The theoretical linkage between triple helix and capacity building through innovation governance is unclear. We still do not have a relevant theory explaining the influence of innovation governance involving local/regional government–industry–university relationships on capacity building leading to successful innovations. Therefore, we are making a proposal to further develop theory by focusing on capacity building through different sequences of innovation governance in relation to components of local political capital - values/norms of identity, networks and local-global relations - in the era of the global knowledge economy.