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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Social constructing of a rural bioeconomy cluster: The case of the Processum biorefinery complex in northern Sweden

Kristensen, Iryna; Dubois, Alexandre


This paper unpacks the relational processes that shape industrial developments in rural settings and offers a springboard for reflecting upon rural clusters as social constructs that result from a complex and dynamic pro-cess, which is a subject to constant change. To identify and map different types of social ties as well as analyze their role in different phases of bio-cluster development, the paper proposes an analytical framework that combines the function of social ties (bonding, bridging and linking) with aspects of geographical and organised proximity. A 'critical case' design has been employed to operationalize the analytical framework proposed and test its suitability for grasping and explaining real-life phenomena. This 'critical case' illustrates the long and winding relational routes collegially taken by local entrepreneurs in bringing together what eventually became a rural cluster.


Rural development; Cluster; Social capital; Proximity dynamics; Biorefinery

Published in

Journal of Rural Studies
2021, volume: 86, pages: 87-96

Authors' information

Kristensen, Iryna
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG9 Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

UKÄ Subject classification

Economic Geography

Publication Identifiers


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