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Questioning the implementation of smart specialisation: Regional innovation policy and semi-autonomous regions
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
2018 (English)In: Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, ISSN 2399-6544, Vol. 36, no 3, p. 530-547Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper considers the recent developments in regional innovation policy pertaining to the smart specialisation agenda from the perspective of a peripheral and semi-autonomous region – Wales in the UK. Through a case study of innovation policy developments in Wales over the past 20 years, and also a consideration of extant literature pertaining to regional innovation policy and smart specialisation, this paper finds a number of issues or shortcomings in the current predominant smart specialisation approach. These are traced back to the strong regional innovation system logic existing in European policy; a number of unresolved theoretical problems that could undermine the efficacy of innovation policy are identified. Both conceptual and rhetorical issues with the concept of the region are highlighted, and questions are asked about the applicability and tenability of smart specialisation approaches in semi-autonomous, cross-border regions, and for policymakers operating in circumstances of multi-level governance. This paper illustrates how such regions provide us with a lens or alternative perspective through which to reconsider our predominant theoretical and practical policy approaches, and highlights a number of potential problems with smart specialisation as it is applied in a diverse range of regional settings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 36, no 3, p. 530-547
Keywords [en]
Smart specialisation, regional innovation systems, policy path-dependence, semi-autonomous regions
National Category
Economic Geography Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-335664DOI: 10.1177/2399654417717069ISI: 000430085400009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-335664DiVA, id: diva2:1163665
Available from: 2017-12-07 Created: 2017-12-07 Last updated: 2018-06-19Bibliographically approved

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Pugh, Rhiannon

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