What is it about?

The paper reflects more than 25 years of experience in regional governance. The argumentation centres on North Rhine-Westphalia and the Ruhr area. The Ruhr area worked as a “laboratory” in experimenting with new modes of regional governance in the 1990s and 2000s. In a nutshell, four streams of regionalization have been implemented: Integrated regional development strategies, the International Building Exhibition IBA Emscher Park, Cluster policy, and Innovation City Bottrop and Rebuilding 21 – Digitalization in the Emscher Region as an example for real laboratories. The paper concludes with a hypothesis about different modes of regional governance, their strengths and weaknesses and asks for possibilities to improve the governance of smart specialisation.

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Why is it important?

To critically reflect on the regional governance and the evolution of economic development concepts


Writing this article was a great pleasure and I hope that the article inspires people to critically reflect on regional development and related strategies against regional needs and future perspectives.

Dr Judith Terstriep
Westphalian University Gelsenkirchen, Institute for Work and Technology

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Regional governance in North Rhine-Westphalia – lessons for smart specialisation strategies?, Innovation The European Journal of Social Science Research, September 2018, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/13511610.2018.1520629.
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