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Innovation is widely held to be a key driver of economic growth at the heart of the knowledge economy, although the social and cultural dimensions of innovation are often neglected. Thus, innovation policies are frequently regarded as central to improving a region's competitiveness, but what does this mean in rural contexts and how is this concept understood and negotiated by different actors? This article takes as a point of departure the literature on innovation in urban systems, innovative milieux and 'learning regions', and then examines uses of the concept in the LEADER initiative - originally intended to develop innovative approaches to rural development - in 10 countries and at various scales from the EU and nation to the local. Consideration is also given to the forms of knowledge associated with innovation processes. © Journal compilation © 2008 European Society for Rural Sociology.
Author(s): Dargan L, Shucksmith M
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Sociologia Ruralis
Print publication date: 01/06/2008
ISSN (print): 0038-0199
ISSN (electronic): 1467-9523
Notes: Special Issue on Rural Sustainable Development in the Era of Knowledge Society
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