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Handbook of Social Capital and Regional Development – Book Review

Handbook of Social Capital and Regional Development

Handbook of Social Capital and Regional Development

Hardcover: 576 pages
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
Year: 2016
Language: English

Edited by

Hans Westlund, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Jönköping International Business School (JIBS), Jönköping, Sweden and Institute for Developmental and Strategic Analysis (IRSA), Ljubljana, Slovenia

Johan P. Larsson, Jönköping International Business School (JIBS), Jönköping and Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum, Stockholm, Sweden


M. Andersson, P. Arenius, R.E. Bolton, N. Bosma, A. Christoforou, M. Emmelin, M. Eriksson, M.P. Feldman, E. Ferragina, R. Franzén, M. Fritsch, T. Hatori, D. Irawati, B. Johannisson, B. Johansson, L. King, K. Kobayashi, J.P. Larsson, M. Lindberg, M. Ljunggren, J. Peiró-Palomino, E. Pisani, J. Poot, Y. Pu, M. Ramírez Pasillas, M. Roskruge, R. Rutten, V. Schutjens, E. Setiawan, T.F. Slaper, M.F. Thompson, E. Tortosa-Ausina, B. Volker, J. Wernberg, H. Westlund, M. Wyrwich, A. Xiong, T.D. Zoller

Book Review

Social capital has provided a tool for analysis of the social context of development while elevating the importance of these factors relative to puristic economic values. This book is an excellent collection of papers that explore a variety of issues related to regional development while progressing the theoretical development of the concept of social capital. The contributors approach social capital theory from a variety of perspectives and refer to different theoretical origins that taken together can seem contradictory and confusing. But, individually each paper is well grounded within its theoretical framework. I found the variety of perspectives combine to provide an excellent exploration of the theory and related issues. It is particularly interesting to read Bolton’s (Chapter 18) discussion of social capital in relation to Habermasean theories such as communicative action and lifeworld. This book is a must-read for economic geographers, planners, and policymakers.

Other Notable Editorial Reviews

‘In the Handbook of Social Capital and Regional Development, Westlund and Larsson have gathered a truly impressive list of experts on how social capital – an often neglected topic – shapes economic development. A must for all those interested in understanding the dynamics of regional development processes.’ –Andres Rodriguez-Pose, London School of Economics, UK

‘Research into the role played by social capital in shaping and fostering regional development is burgeoning, and rightly so. Many previously opaque and little-understood aspects of local development processes and mechanisms are now increasingly coming to light due to our growing understanding of social capital. This has led to both major empirical and theoretical breakthroughs, many of which are reflected and articulated in this excellent volume, comprising some of the very best scholars in the field. This is a valuable resource for all scholars working on these topics.’ –Philip McCann, University of Groningen, the Netherlands

‘This excellent volume combines a rich set of papers linking space and social relationships. It reminds everyone who studies entrepreneurship that entrepreneurs exist in a place – and derive strength from their social networks. This provides a wide view of the exciting world of spatial research in the 21st century.’ –Edward Glaeser, Harvard University

Purchase online

To purchase the book online or view a downloadable chapter go to the publisher’s website using the links below.
Purchase directly online View a downloadable chapter.


1. Social Capital and Regional Development: An Introduction
Hans Westlund and Johan P. Larsson

2. Social Capital and Networks in Spatial Economies
Börje Johansson

3. Local Social Entrepreneurship and Social Capital
Niels Bosma, Veronique Schutjens and Beate Volker

4. Does Persistence in Start-up Activity Reflect Persistence in Social Capital?
Michael Fritsch and Michael Wyrwich

5. Women’s Entrepreneurship and Social Capital
Pia Arenius and Riikka Franzén

6. Dealmakers in Place: Social Capital Connections in Regional Entrepreneurial Economies
Maryann P. Feldman and Ted Douglas Zoller

7. Social Capital and the Economics of Cities
Martin Andersson, Johan P. Larsson and Joakim Wernberg

8. Indonesian Entrepreneurs in the UK: A Social Capital Perspective on Challenges and Opportunities of Migrant Entrepreneurs
Eddy Setiawan, Dessy Irawati and Roel Rutten

9. Social Capital, Entrepreneurship and Living Standards: Differences Between Migrants and the Native Born
Matthew Roskruge, Jacques Poot and Laura King

10. The Social Capital of European Regions
Emanuele Ferragina

11. Social Capital and Regional Economic Performance: A Study Across U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas
Michael F. Thompson and Timothy F. Slaper

12. Social Capital and Income Convergence in European Regions
Jesús Peiró-Palomino and Emili Tortosa-Ausina

13. Challenges and Opportunities for Local Development Initiatives to Influence Social Capital for Health Promotion Purposes: Theoretical and Empirical Support
Malin Eriksson and Maria Emmelin

14. Social Capital and Rural Development in Southern European Regions: The Case of EU-funded LEADER Projects
Asimina Christoforou and Elena Pisani

15. Research on Social Capital and Regional Development in China: What Has Been Done So Far and What Should be Done in Future
Ailun Xiong and Yongjian Pu

16. Social Capital and Regional Learning Governance: A Japanese Perspective
Kiyoshi Kobayashi and Tsuyoshi Hatori

17. Clusters as a Take-Off for Glocal Strategies: the Role of Social Capital
Bengt Johannisson, Marcela Ramirez-Pasillas and Malin Lindberg

18. A Habermas-inspired Approach to Social Capital in Regional Planning
Roger E. Bolton

19. Researchers’ Role in Regional Development – Collaboration and Social Capital in Swedish Higher Education Institutions
Maria Ljunggren

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