The conditions for (in)effective regional collaboration in The Netherlands. Exploring the geography of causal paths of collaboration using QCA

Authors: Mark Kuijpers, Vindsubsidies, Arnoud Lagendijk*, Radboud University Nijmegen, Martin van der Velde, Radboud University
Topics: Planning Geography, Qualitative Research, Europe
Keywords: collaboration, regional governance, economic policy, spatial planning
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Jefferson, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Across the Netherlands, municipalities collaborate in regional consortiums to coordinate and align economic and social policies, spatial planning and public services, with quite mixed results. While the consortiums receive support from the provincial and state level, they primarily result from self-motivation and self-organisation. This paper takes the view that each consortium presents a unique path and configuration of shaping and mobilising a range of elements, including impetus, vision, institutional capacity, leadership, trust and commitment. Similarity in configurations between consortiums subsequently emerges from commonalities in contexts and drivers, circulation of practices and shared approaches to collaboration. Using configurational analysis (QCA), this paper explains the effectiveness of Dutch regional consortiums (72 cases), measured through elaborate surveying, in terms of 10 contributing conditions. The results manifest many unique causal paths, but also certain dominant paths towards effectiveness and ineffectiveness. Many effective consortiums are mature and manifest a clear economic and business focus; another group consists of more homogeneous consortiums free from provincial intervention. For negative effectiveness, a surprisingly dominant path is the presence of a formal national framework for collaboration (WGR). In the final part, the paper discusses the consequences of the findings and approach for theory development on regional collaboration. It also reflects on the use of configurational analysis for understanding territorial development.

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