Pulling things together: regional policy coordination approaches and drivers in Europe

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Coordination is a long-term issue for regional policy that has gained traction in academic and practitioner circles in recent years. The capacity challenges of responding to a broadening set of issues that cut across sectoral and administrative boundaries focus attention on regional policy coordination. Various concepts have emerged to study policy coordination processes, but efforts are ongoing to bring these together into overarching analytical frameworks. This paper contributes to these efforts by disaggregating coordination mechanisms according to different components of regional policy design and delivery (rule-based coordination, organisational arrangements, strategic policy coordination and policy instrument coordination) and by identifying cognitive, political and institutional factors that drive their use. The paper explores the relationship between coordination mechanisms and these drivers in the regional policy systems of three countries: Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom. It assesses the different dynamics at work and notes the importance of administrative capacity as a prerequisite for effective coordination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-57
Number of pages21
JournalPolicy and Society
Issue number1
Early online date5 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2021


  • regional policy paradigm
  • coordination capacity
  • federal
  • unitary


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