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Lagendijk, Arnoud
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38th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Europe Quo Vadis? - Regional Questions at the Turn of the Century", 28 August - 1 September 1998, Vienna, Austria
The last decade has seen a revival of regional industrial policy in the Western world. New policies have been built on recent insights into the drivers of competitive advantage and are characterized by a focus on local production systems, on networking and partnerships, and more strategic forms of policy intervention. In addition, policy formulation and implementation has generally become part of an interactive process of consultation and consensus building, and, to a large extent, involves the co-ordination and reshaping of existing instruments rather than the development of entirely new ones. This paper will discuss the emergence of new forms of industrial policy targeted on regional ?competitiveness? on the basis of case studies undertaken in Germany, the UK and Spain. The aim of the paper is to understand how the concept and understanding of ?competitiveness? by local makers and other actors has influenced the shaping of local industrial policy. Since all the case studies involve laggard regions, one of the key issues of the debate is how policy makers perceive the balance between more ingenious, innovation-oriented approaches and approaches targeted in foreign investments. To understand the different outcomes in the various regions, account is taken of the governance framework for industrial policy making and implementation, the concepts and models invoked and used by policy makers, the impact of external factors such as funding conditions and European programs and, most fundamentally, the industrial and political traditions which characterize each region. The paper will point at some of the remarkable changes concepts have made on their way from theoretical and conceptual thinking to policy implementation, and will discuss the implications of these changes for academic research as well as policy-making. The work for this paper has been funded under the European Programmes ADAPT (Core project) and HCM (EUNIT network)
Document Type: 
Conference Paper

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