'This well-edited volume should be on the shelf of every regional development agency library. Its seventeen chapters written by 31 predominantly academic contributors are divided into four coherent sections: the first on cluster and network modelling, the next on empirical analysis, a third on case studies, finishing with two chapters on policy analysis and strategies.'- Tony Jackson, Journal of Economic DevelopmentThis book provides a state-of-the-art overview of spatial industrial clusters and inter-firm networks. Given the prevailing political belief that clusters can be a major vehicle for economic development and growth, it is important to have a sound understanding of clusters and how they emerge, grow, eventually stagnate and disappear. It is also vital to know when and how to apply policy measures to support cluster development in order to increase economic welfare. This book illuminates both the theoretical and empirical issues relating to clusters and inter-firm networks, and presents a number of interesting case studies from a variety of different countries.The authors study a number of important issues including interaction within and between clusters, the spatial dimensions and characteristics of this interaction, the factors which contribute to cluster formation, and the conditions and policies conducive to the development and sustainability of successful clusters. They also investigate whether firms in clusters perform better than those that are excluded, and illustrate how the importance of clusters can vary significantly between different industries. The authors go on to address the role of clusters in knowledge spillovers and their implications for the functioning of the overall economy, and highlight the effect of new information and communications technologies on cluster configurations and operations.Regional economists, economic geographers and regional scientists will welcome this comprehensive new volume. It will also be a useful reference tool for policymakers and planners involved in industrial and regional economic development.