For two decades now the cluster and network concept has been associated with economic growth and an upgrade of the local economic structure by many regional political actors. At the same time, although this concept is an extremely popular instrument of regional structural development among experts, a series of recently published articles critical of the cluster approach have shown that the concept largely relies on findings which so far have not been adequately scientifically proven. They show that the concept is in large parts based on findings lacking a proper amount of empirical evidence. Following this tradition the article thoroughly discusses the basic structures of the cluster concept. The article aims at questioning the current approach towards the concept in regional politics and sensitizing for future research needs. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2009

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