Public Administration Series

The context for regional development is constantly being reshaped by the globalised economic system, which affects regions differently, with the attendant risk that disparities will widen. Irish Regional Policy: In Search of Coherence examines the coherence of Irish regional policy in this evolving context. It develops and applies a model of policy coherence to Irish regional policy in relation to investment planning processes, spatial planning and territorial governance.

The dominant regional economic growth theories and the influential concepts of territorial cohesion, regional competitiveness and polycentric spatial development are critically reviewed. The rationale for regional policy is re-examined; a typology of regional policy interventions and territorial governance arrangements is outlined, and its relevance to Ireland is assessed.

Irish Regional Policy: In Search of Coherence combines an analysis of documentary sources and statistical trends with the outcomes of 24 interviews with leading personnel in four categories - government departments and agencies, subnational public bodies, selected academic experts and social partner bodies - all of whom are active players in regional policy development, implementation and evaluation processes.

Among the key findings are that regional policy goals are subsidiary to national goals and that Irish regional policy lacks coherence with related policies. The study finds a need for an enhanced role for region-level bodies that would greatly improve the territorial co-ordination of sectoral policies. It concludes that the policy coherence framework is a useful one that could be applied more generally in reviewing public policies.
 

  1. Introduction
    Regional development context
    Research hypothesis
    Research aim and objectives
    Methodology
    Main findings and conclusions
    Utility of the study
    Structure
     
  2. Regional Economic Growth and Regional Policy
    Regional economic growth theories
    Measurement of regional performance and convergence
    Influential concepts: Territorial cohesion, polycentric urban development and competitiveness
    Do regions matter? The case for regional policy
    A typology of regional policies
    Policy coherence and policy effectiveness
    Chapter conclusions
     
  3. Methodology
    Research philosophy
    Research strategy
    Research methods
    Design of research instrument and selection of interviewees
    Organisation of interviews
    Data analysis
    Ethics, confidentiality and position of researcher
    Ensuring the quality of the research
    Chapter conclusions
     
  4. Regional Development Policy in Ireland
    Evolution of Irish regional policy
    National Development Plans and the National Spatial Strategy
    Selected sectoral strategies
    Sources of regional divergence in Ireland Regional socioeconomic trends
    Chapter conclusions
     
  5. Findings and Discussion
    Rationale for Irish regional policy
    Current goals and principal features of Irish regional policy
    Effectiveness of Irish regional policy
    Convergence and divergence forces
    Preferred goals and influential policy drivers
    Measurement
    Investment planning and investment strategies
    Spatial planningTerritorial governance
    Role of regional bodies
    Chapter conclusions
     
  6. Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations
    Summary of findings by theme
    Conclusions and implications for Irish regional policy
    Coherence of Irish regional policy
    Recommendations
    Limitations of this study
    Areas for further research
    Concluding comments
     

Bibliography
Glossary 
Appendix 1: List of Interviewees
Appendix 2: Interview Guide
Appendix 3: Letter to Interviewees
Index

Irish Regional Policy: In Search of Coherence

The context for regional development is constantly being reshaped by the globalised economic system, which affects regions differently, with the attendant risk that disparities will widen. Irish Regional Policy: In Search of Coherence examines the coherence of Irish regional policy in this evolving context. It develops and applies a model of policy coherence to Irish regional policy in relation to investment planning processes, spatial planning and territorial governance.

The dominant regional economic growth theories and the influential concepts of territorial cohesion, regional competitiveness and polycentric spatial development are critically reviewed. The rationale for regional policy is re-examined; a typology of regional policy interventions and territorial governance arrangements is outlined, and its relevance to Ireland is assessed.

Irish Regional Policy: In Search of Coherence combines an analysis of documentary sources and statistical trends with the outcomes of 24 interviews with leading personnel in four categories - government departments and agencies, subnational public bodies, selected academic experts and social partner bodies - all of whom are active players in regional policy development, implementation and evaluation processes.

Among the key findings are that regional policy goals are subsidiary to national goals and that Irish regional policy lacks coherence with related policies. The study finds a need for an enhanced role for region-level bodies that would greatly improve the territorial co-ordination of sectoral policies. It concludes that the policy coherence framework is a useful one that could be applied more generally in reviewing public policies.
 

  1. Introduction
    Regional development context
    Research hypothesis
    Research aim and objectives
    Methodology
    Main findings and conclusions
    Utility of the study
    Structure
     
  2. Regional Economic Growth and Regional Policy
    Regional economic growth theories
    Measurement of regional performance and convergence
    Influential concepts: Territorial cohesion, polycentric urban development and competitiveness
    Do regions matter? The case for regional policy
    A typology of regional policies
    Policy coherence and policy effectiveness
    Chapter conclusions
     
  3. Methodology
    Research philosophy
    Research strategy
    Research methods
    Design of research instrument and selection of interviewees
    Organisation of interviews
    Data analysis
    Ethics, confidentiality and position of researcher
    Ensuring the quality of the research
    Chapter conclusions
     
  4. Regional Development Policy in Ireland
    Evolution of Irish regional policy
    National Development Plans and the National Spatial Strategy
    Selected sectoral strategies
    Sources of regional divergence in Ireland Regional socioeconomic trends
    Chapter conclusions
     
  5. Findings and Discussion
    Rationale for Irish regional policy
    Current goals and principal features of Irish regional policy
    Effectiveness of Irish regional policy
    Convergence and divergence forces
    Preferred goals and influential policy drivers
    Measurement
    Investment planning and investment strategies
    Spatial planningTerritorial governance
    Role of regional bodies
    Chapter conclusions
     
  6. Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations
    Summary of findings by theme
    Conclusions and implications for Irish regional policy
    Coherence of Irish regional policy
    Recommendations
    Limitations of this study
    Areas for further research
    Concluding comments
     

Bibliography
Glossary 
Appendix 1: List of Interviewees
Appendix 2: Interview Guide
Appendix 3: Letter to Interviewees
Index

By: Kieran Moylan ISBN: 978-1-904541-94-3

Published: Saturday 01, January 2011. 182 Pages


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