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Research article2021Peer reviewed

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

      SLU Authors

    • Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Economic Geography

      Publication identifier


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