An institutionalist perspective on smart specialization: Towards a political economy of regional innovation policy

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


The smart specialization approach has guided regional innovation policies in Europe for roughly a decade. However, the policy practice under the approach has met considerable criticism which suggests the existence of significant gaps between the conceptual level and the level of policy implementation. To explain and understand the reasons for these gaps, this article proposes an institutionalist perspective rooted in neo-institutional sociology. In particular, the article draws on concepts such as ceremony, myth, and isomorphism and argues that such an institutionalist perspective can provide one of several fields of further research on the political economy of regional innovation policy. Pursuing such research is particularly relevant to inform policymaking in the coming years, given the current tendency to re-orient smart specialization towards challenge orientation, directionality, normativity, and sustainability.
Seiten (von - bis)878-889
FachzeitschriftScience and Public Policy
Frühes Online-Datum29 Juni 2022
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 1 Dez. 2022

ÖFOS 2012

  • 502014 Innovationsforschung
  • 507026 Wirtschaftsgeographie