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The Handbook of Local and Regional Economic Development provides a comprehensive statement and reference point for local and regional development in an international and multi-disciplinary context. Specifically, it aims to provide critical reviews and appraisals of the current state of the art and future development of conceptual and theoretical approaches as well as empirical knowledge and understanding of local and regional development, to encourage dialogue across the disciplinary barriers between notions of 'local and regional development' in the Global North and 'development studies' in the Global South through the international reach and scope of its coverage and contributors and to engage with and reflect upon the politics and policy of how we think about and practice local and regional development.An introduction sets out the rationale, aims and structure of the Handbook. The Handbook is organised into seven inter-related sections. Section 1 situates local and regional development in its global context. Section 2 establishes the key issues in understanding the principles and values that help us define what is meant by local and regional development. Section 3 critically reviews the current diversity and variety of conceptual and theoretical approaches to local and regional development. Section 4 addresses questions of government and governance. Section 5 connects critically with the array of contemporary approaches to local and regional development policy. Section 6 is an explicitly global review of perspectives on local and regional development from Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, North America and Europe. Section 7 provides reflection and discussion of the futures for local and regional development in an international and multidisciplinary context.The Handbook seeks to establish local and regional development in an international and multidisciplinary context. Its main contributions comprise, first, encouraging an approach that reflects upon and questions what we mean by 'development' locally and regionally in economic, social, cultural, ecological and political terms. Second, it underlines the importance of questioning the appropriateness of any 'spaceless' and/or 'placeless' generalised theory, policy and practice of local and regional development and emphasises the need to develop more context-sensitive approaches to local and regional development wedded to more foundational concerns such as democracy, equity, internationalism and solidarity. Last, it promotes an appreciation of politics and power relations and practice in multi-level, multi-agent and devolving systems of government and governance and the normative dimensions of value judgements about the kinds of local and regional development we should be pursuing.