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Knowledge that matters for the ‘survival of unfittest’: The case of the new Brussels' rail junction

Nicola Francesco Dotti ()

Transport Policy, 2018, vol. 63, issue C, 131-140

Abstract: The construction of a large metropolitan infrastructure, like other megaprojects, requires advanced technical expertise, capacity to manage complex procedures and planning processes as well as capacity to deal with conflicting interests. For the case of megaprojects, overestimation of benefits and underestimation of costs and risks is a common problem all over the world, leading to the ‘survival of the unfittest’ (Flyvbjerg, 2009). The main causes were identified in the optimism bias, strategic misrepresentation, path dependency leading to lock-in and poor oversight; however, the ‘survival’ of these causes is still unclear. For this purpose, the survival of the unfittest megaprojects is re-conceptualised into a proper cognitive-evolutionary framework. By introducing an innovative taxonomy of policy knowledge, this paper aims to argue that a specific policy community can ‘survive’ by strategically using a ‘cognitive monopoly’ of some of the relevant policy knowledge for megaprojects.

Keywords: Policy knowledge; Megaproject; Decentralisation; Brussels; Cognitive monopoly (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Working Paper: Knowledge that matters for the 'survival of unfittest’: The case of the new Brussels' rail junction (2018)
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