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Smart specialization policy in an economically well-developed, multilevel governance system

: Kroll, Henning


Radosevic, Slavo (Ed.):
Advances in the theory and practice of smart specialization
London: Academic Press, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-12-804137-6
ISBN: 978-0-12-804159-8
ISBN: 0-12-804137-4
Book Article
Fraunhofer ISI ()
smart specialization; governance; policy; politic; paradox

This chapter analyzes the situation of German regions making sense of the seeming paradox that despite their advanced economies, well-established governance systems, and high administrative capacities few of them have engaged strongly with the European Union’s smart specialization agenda. It finds that, first and foremost, smart specialization is a political process that has to be interpreted in categories of not only policy making but also political expedience. Where the economy runs well, governance systems are complex and path-dependent, and the political culture does not favor recommendations from external parties, new strategic agendas seem to entail more effort than they bring in benefits.