PhD research projects Supervisor: Matias Ramirez Inclusion in emerging agricultural clusters This project focuses specifically on the development of the innovation capabilities of a range of small producers that have been hitherto marginalized from innovation processes. I have undertaken past projects that specifically look at emerging clusters in agricultural sectors in Colombia and Chile, where improving capabilities of small producers is essential both for the local economy and more generally for the productive sector. Critical theoretical issues that arise include the role of collective action (and collective goods) in inclusion, the structural properties of networks in clusters and how these influence knowledge transfer and intermediation of extension services. References: Clarke, I and Ramirez, M. (2014), (2013) Intermediaries and capability building in 'emerging clusters'. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 32, (4) pp. 714-730 Ramirez, M. Bernal, P. Clarke, I. and Hernandez I., (2014), Distinguishing patterns of learning and inclusion through the dynamics of network formation in developing agricultural clusters, SPRU working paper series No.20, University of Sussex. McDermott G, Corredoira R, Kruse G, (2009), “Public–private institutions as catalysts of upgrading in emerging market societies” Academy of Management Journal, 52, pp. 1270–1296. Fafchamps, M., (2007), Development and social capital, Journal of Development Studies, Vo. 42, No7, p1180- 1198. Regional innovation and development Regional policy for innovation and building regional innovation systems is vastly challenging for lower income countries because of the need to cater for the vast contrasts between urban and rural capabilities, differences in human resources and levels of education (Altenberg and MeyerStammer 1999). This PhD project will acknowledge the importance of physical space for agglomeration and can draw upon the rich work in amongst other areas including evolutionary economic geography (Boschma and Frenken, 2009). However, the often localised nature of interactions, the importance of access to export markets and the role of local intermediaries will play a critical role. References: Altenburg T and Meyer-Stamer J (1999), How to promote cluster: Policy experiences from Latin America, World Development, 27, 1693- -1713. Boschma R and Frenken K (2009), Some notes on institutions in evolutionary economic geography, Urban and Regional Research Centre 82, 2. 151-158. 1996 Social networks and transitions Systemic innovation and transitions necessary involves fundamental changes in the structures of social networks. This can be expressed by the appearance of new coalitions of central actors, the appearance of dynamic subcliques that undermine the established order, or niches that move from the margins to the centre. This project will examine the dynamics of these transitions through changes in the make-up and mix of social networks. It will examine the hypothesis that transition is driven by heterogeneity of networks. References: Granovetter, M (1973), the strength of weak ties, American Journal of Sociology, 78 (6), 1360-1380. Burt, R. L., (1992), Structural Holes, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Walker, G. Kogut, B. and ShanSource, W., (1997). Social capital, structural holes and the formation of an industry network, Organization Science, Vol. 8, No. 2 pp. 109-125.