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Introduction

  • Riccardo CrescenziEmail author
  • Andrés Rodríguez-Pose
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Spatial Science book series (ADVSPATIAL)

Abstract

Over the past three decades technological change has not only been the single most important force behind the process of economic growth but it has also enabled the “widening, deepening and speeding up of worldwide interconnectedness in all aspects of contemporary social life, from the cultural to the criminal, the financial to the spiritual” (Held et al. 1999: 2) that may be referred to as globalization. The progressive liberalisation of the movements of capital and labour, the sharp reduction in the cost of international and intercontinental travel, as well as the purportedly progressive convergence towards “global” cultural models, and, above all, the frictionless availability of information seem to suggest an ever-decreasing influence of both physical distance and the underlying contextual conditions upon economic interactions. Faster and cheaper access to information and technology has also led to a restructuring of how we conduct business all over the world and contributed to dismantle the barriers that anchored economic activity to specific locations. At a first superficial look the consequence of all these changes seems to be a world where neither the distance between the economic actors, nor the contextual condition in which their interactions take place would matter any longer; a world where information “once available only to the few would be available to the many, instantly and (in terms of distribution costs) inexpensively” (Cairncross 1997: 4); a world where every economy has a similar chance of exploiting and maximizing the opportunities of global interaction, regardless of its geographical location and its indigenous conditions. In brief, a world where more and more people are empowered by this access to information and become more conscious of the need to engage and compete as individuals in an integrated world.

Keywords

European Union Knowledge Spillover Innovative Effort Regional Innovation System European Union Region 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geography and EnvironmentLondon School of EconomicsLondonUK
  2. 2.IMDEA Social SciencesMadridSpain

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