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Luis Sanz-Menendez and Laura Cruz-Castro

Regional Studies, 2005, vol. 39, issue 7, 939-954

Abstract: Sanz-Menendez L. and Cruz-Castro L. (2005) Explaining the science and technology policies of regional governments, Regional Studies 39 , There is a simultaneous trend for regionalization and decentralization in Europe, a trend that has also affected the science and technology policy domain, with an open debate on the functioning of the multilevel governance system. Regional authorities have become directly involved in the design and implementation of regional science and technology (S&T) policies. However, the interventions of sub-national governments are much more diverse than the prevailing view about the convergence of regional policies towards innovation policies might imply. This paper describes science, technology and innovation policies adopted by five Spanish regional governments between the mid-1980s and the beginning of the 21st century from a comparative perspective. The paper first describes the policy approaches (academic versus industrial) adopted by the regional authorities. Second, it analyses the explanatory factors in order to reach certain conclusions about the circumstances under which regional governments can implement policies of one or the other approach. Despite the influence of some structural factors, especially as regards initial political preferences, the analysis highlights the relevance of the mobilized interests when they are concentrated in the region, showing that changes in policy orientation are particularly difficult when those interests play a role in the administration of such policies. Preferences towards a policy reorientation are more likely to succeed with the aid of appropriate administrative arrangements, especially along with significant budget increases.

Keywords: Regional research and development policies; Political preferences; Policy diffusion; Interests and institutions; Spanish regions; Politiques regionales de R et D; Preferences politiques; Diffusion de politique; Interets et institutions; Regions d'Espagne; Regionale Forschungs-und Entwicklungsbestrebungen; Politische Praferenzen; Ausbreitung von Bestrebungen; Interessen und Institutionen; Spanische Regionen; Politicas regionales de investigacion y desarrollo; Preferencias politicas; Difusion de politicas; Intereses e instituciones; Regiones espanolas; JEL classifications: O38; R5 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2005
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DOI: 10.1080/00343400500289945

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