Territorial Development and Action Research examines the role of action research within fields such as territorial development and innovation. Most researchers analyse these fields from the outside, developing a theoretical understanding of what should be done, but not of how to do it. Based on their own experience of territorial development processes from the inside out, James Karlsen and Miren Larrea argue that filling the gap regarding social relations in the innovation process makes it possible for researchers to engage in the processes taking place in the territory, thereby revealing how to make things work. This book will help researchers face the pressure to engage and play a useful role in the development of their host regions. It will help policy makers to continuously learn and redefine policy approaches and bring about collaboration through networks, programs and projects where researchers and practitioners in regional, local and urban development work together to construct territorial development. Readers will acquire a better understanding of micro-territorial development processes and the roles played by individuals and coalitions in endogenous development processes.
James Karlsen (PhD Norwegian University of Science and Technology) has worked with territorial development processes as a policy maker and a researcher at national and local level in Norway and the Basque Country of Spain. He is now an Associate Professor at University of Agder. Karlsen is widely published on topics such as regional innovation systems, action research, networks, the role of universities in regional development, and how regions can construct territorial development. Miren Larrea (PhD University of Deusto) began as research assistant at the University of Deusto, and after a decade dedicated to teaching and research, she became a practitioner in a local development agency. Larrea is now Senior Researcher at Orkestra, the Basque Institute for Competitiveness. She has published widely on networks for territorial development, local development agencies, governance, and action research as a strategy for connecting research and policy.
Contents: Preface; Introduction; Part I Social Innovation, Conflict and Collective Knowing: Regional innovation systems from the inside out; From conflict to consensus in the agora; Social capital and collective knowing in the agora. Part II Action Research, Mode 2 Knowledge, Cogeneration and Pluralism: Change in research practice for territorial development; Creating a pluralistic action research environment. Part III Innovation Through Dialogue: Dialogue and development; The pedagogical process in the agora. Concluding reflections: creating connectedness; References; Index.