Regional and Local Economic Development

September 20, 2011

A way of understanding different approaches to economic development was presented, drawing on Regional and Local Economic Development, a new book by Hague, Hague and Breitbach.

The form economic development takes is linked to the priority attached to different policy aims (e.g. economic efficiency or environmental sustainability) and to expectations about whether the market will deliver desired forms of development in particular locations. The different approaches can also be linked to different governance mechanisms and illustrated by examples from practice.

In "hard times," when and where local economies are weak, and the capacity of governments to make an impact is also limited, there is a case for looking at less orthodox approaches. There are examples of these within the U.S., but this may be a field in which the global North can learn something from practices in the global South.

Cliff Hague

Cliff Hague

Cliff Hague is a past president of the Royal Town Planning Institute (UK), and is emeritus professor at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, U.K. He is a freelance consultant and author and a member of the UK's Academy for Social Sciences. His latest book, Regional and Local Economic Development, was recently published by Palgrave, and includes over 70 mini-cases studies from not only the U.S. and U.K., but also from many other parts of the globe. His World View blog is at, and he also blogs on