European Planning Studies vol:9 issue:8 pages:1011-1038
Today's corporate strategy is resulting in the creation of a network enterprise. As geographic space is integrated in this strategy, it is not only the network enterprise that functions in a polycentric way, but also space. Therefore, a networked territory exists as another reality alongside the existing socio-political entities. In a global/local perspective, recent models of local economic development emphasize the role of the ‘local’ in local economic development. These theories stress the importance of socio-cultural environment, institutions and networking in local economic development. Without denying the importance of these characteristics, it is clear that even perfect ‘local’ conditions are not infallible localisation forces. Just as globalisation is not a kind of mystical force, neither are the forces of localisation. To understand why there are winners and losers, localisation forces must be regarded from the point of view of existing or absent common local interests and the local capacity to organise them. They are not mystical but they have very much to do with relationships of power not only within, but - resulting from the emergence of a networked territory - also outside the region. From this perspective the existence and the safeguarding of common local interests are not apparent. Local advocacy is therefore a necessity from the region’s point of view.