Problems of development were at the center of the work of Sebastiano Brusco. Over a thirty-year period at the end of the last century and in conjunction with a large team of collaborators, he made many of the most important contributions to the study of (mainly) Italian industrial districts1.Drawing particularly on the experience of Emilia Romagna in the 1970s, Brusco showed that a multiplicity of forms of industrial organization could be efficient, if properly embedded in supporting social and institutional structures. He developed analytical and empirical tools on policies to help conceptualize a form of local development that was associated with the presence of industrial districts, and used these tools to rethink the effectiveness of policy instruments. This work was carried out in conjunction with his dialogue with trade unions in Italy in the 1970s on the one side and, on the other side, with an international scientific community that was then growing around the research on industrial districts and local development. Unfortunately, his premature death in 2002 has denied us his continued participation in a discussion that owes him much. But he has nonetheless left us a priceless legacy in his many and lucid writings, with their vivid demonstration that theoretical analyses and empirical studies can be fruitfully interwoven with research and didactic activity2.Prior to launching on his studies of Industry and Labour, to which he devoted his years at Cambridge (UK) in the early 1960s, Brusco found a cue for his research in theoretical, political and social experience in the Sardinia of the 1950s. He belonged to a group of intellectuals of the Ichnusa review, gathered around the jurist Antonio Pigliaru and sparking an intense discussion on themes of development. This context went on to shape Brusco's work in subsequent decades, and led him down a personal research path focused on the interpretation and analysis of industrial districts and local development3.This chapter briefly reviews the problems and the analytical tools put forward by Brusco in his writing on local development (section 2). We shall deal with two fundamental concepts of industrial policy developed by Brusco (sections 3 and 4): the role of real services to support district firms and the role of real services needed to transform groups of isolated firms into systems of firms; and the promotion of widespread changes at the level of knowledge, competences, and social relations. These concepts emphasize both that industrial policies centred on real services can treat the industrial district per se as a key policy target and that local development policies should use the concept of the industrial district as a reference model to identify innovative approaches to policy design and intervention more generally. Thus, when policy making used district planning contracts as a form of support for territorial policies in Southern Italy, the industrial districts themselves became actors of policy making on a national scale (section 5).
The Italian Revival of Industrial Districts and the Foundations of Industrial Policy / A., Natali; Russo, Margherita. - STAMPA. - (2009), pp. 111-121.
|Data di pubblicazione:||2009|
|Titolo:||The Italian Revival of Industrial Districts and the Foundations of Industrial Policy|
|Autore/i:||A., Natali; Russo, Margherita|
|Titolo del libro:||The Handbook of Industrial Districts|
|Nazione editore:||REGNO UNITO DI GRAN BRETAGNA|
|Citazione:||The Italian Revival of Industrial Districts and the Foundations of Industrial Policy / A., Natali; Russo, Margherita. - STAMPA. - (2009), pp. 111-121.|
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