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See detailInter-regional innovation cooperation and structural heterogeneity:Does being a rural, or border region, or both, make a difference?
Hjaltadottir, Rannveig Edda UL; Makkonen, Teemu; Mitze, Timo Friedel

in Journal of Rural Studies (2019)

This paper analyses the determinants of inter-regional innovation cooperation in European knowledge networks. Our main goal is to assess whether structural heterogeneity in the context of the “urban ... [more ▼]

This paper analyses the determinants of inter-regional innovation cooperation in European knowledge networks. Our main goal is to assess whether structural heterogeneity in the context of the “urban-rural dichotomy†and international borders can explain differences in the regions’ engagement in inter-regional innovation coopera-tion. We estimate a gravity equation to model innovation cooperation, proxied by inter-regional co-patent ap-plications, as a function of region-specific context conditions as well as technological and geographical distance. Our data comprise dyadic information on 203 NUTS2 regions in 15 European countries (EU-15) for the year 2010. The empirical results show that the basic gravity mechanisms drive the direction and strength of in-novation cooperation between EU regions; i.e., geographical distance acts as an impediment to inter-regional co-patent applications. Regarding the importance of structural heterogeneity, we find that pairs of rural regions have lower levels of innovation cooperation compared to urban regions. Similarly, border regions are generally disadvantaged compared to non-border regions in terms of the intensity of innovation cooperation. However, while the latter result points to a negative border effect, our gravity model estimates also show that pairs of border regions are more active in terms of close geographical innovation cooperation (e.g., through international cross-border cooperation), which partly compensates for the negative border effect. This finding not only holds for urban but also rural border regions and may reflect policy attempts to support border regions, e.g., by strengthening the level of international cross-border cooperation within the EU. [less ▲]

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See detailHow should rural policy be evaluated if it aims to foster community involvement in environmental management?
Prager, Katrin; Nienaber, Birte UL; Neumann, Barbara et al

in Journal of Rural Studies (2015), 37

This paper brings together different theoretical perspectives to propose an evaluation framework for policies which have the explicit aim to foster community involvement in the management of their natural ... [more ▼]

This paper brings together different theoretical perspectives to propose an evaluation framework for policies which have the explicit aim to foster community involvement in the management of their natural environment in the context of sustainable rural development, such as the EU LEADER programme, Australia's Caring for Our Country, and UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. Previous policy evaluations have over-simplified the complex social-ecological systems on which these policies are supposed to act, have lacked specification of the policy level they address and were predicated on the assumption that policies can be designed to produce predictable outcomes.Based on a concept of 'complex realities' we developed a framework to guide the evaluation of policy effectiveness in socialecological systems. This comprehensive framework provides the conceptual and theoretical context in which individual evaluation exercises for policy review and future programme design can be embedded. It goes beyond existing frameworks by allowing the identification of factors that explain how and why a policy tool was effective. It provides a structure within which data sets from different sources, relevant stakeholders and relationships can be identified and analysed in a multi-level and multi-scale context. However, we emphasise that policy makers and evaluators' mindsets would have to change to accept uncertainty and the validity of various stakeholders' perceptions and evaluations. [less ▲]

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See detailArranging public support to unfold collaborative modes of governance in rural areas
Wellbrock, Wiebke; Roep, Dirk; Mahon, Marie et al

in Journal of Rural Studies (2013), 32

Raising collective agency is key to successful place-based development approaches. Existing policy arrangements have, however, been criticised, suggesting a need to effectuate more collaborative modes of ... [more ▼]

Raising collective agency is key to successful place-based development approaches. Existing policy arrangements have, however, been criticised, suggesting a need to effectuate more collaborative modes of governance. This paper shall contribute to a better understanding of how public support can best be arranged to raise collective agency for a more collaborative mode of governance in rural areas. The paper elaborates on findings of empirical investigations conducted within the EU FP7 project DERREG. It will be shown that differences in effectuating more collaborative modes of governance can partly be ascribed to different political dynamics, economic and demographic situations as well as the presence of a shared sense of place. To raise collective agency effectively requires a joint reconsideration and restructuring of the division of roles and tasks, including those of public administration. This can be supported by facilitating joint reflexivity among development actors and giving room for collaborative leadership and operational flexibility within policy arrangements [less ▲]

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