Economic Governance: International Experiences
new direction for Northern Ireland
director, Democratic Dialogue
structures and processes key to economic success
2. How business
and other social partners engage in decision-making
3. The role of
for ensuring social cohesion
5. How internal
policy co-ordination is best achieved
6. How top-down
and bottom-up approaches can be linked
7. How regional
needs can be reflected in 'national' policy-making
An RDA for Northern
It is no accident that 'governance'
is a term now only beginning to enter Northern Ireland's public lexicon.
For governance is really a notion to convey what government is for and
how it is best carried out. In other words, it implies a close association
between the political domain and, first, the economic domain for which
it is meant to deliver the 'what', and, secondly, the social domain via
which it is meant to achieve the 'how'.
The trouble is that government
in Northern Ireland has for long been disconnected from these other domains.
Politics has had its own—unfortunately repetitive and antagonistic—internal
logic, premised on the assumption that economic policy (and a very substantial
subvention) will be delivered from Westminster and that the involvement
of other social actors is an optional (and not necessarily desirable)
This is not a healthy situation,
and would be likely to lead to major tensions—even crises—if a political
settlement as conventionally conceived was to be agreed between the parties.
An obvious risk is that business, and other social actors, would feel
disillusioned by the performance of politicians unused to the exercise
of economic policy, frustrated by structures designed on the basis of
purely political considerations, and excluded by a lack of involvement
in the public policy process.
Moreover, while new governance
structures for Northern Ireland have been ironically described as 'Sunningdale
for slow learners', the rapidity of change in the wider world in the past
quarter century does not allow Northern Ireland to rest on old laurels.
Whatever institutions are established in the region must enable it to
improve its economic and social performance very substantially, and sustainably,
if it is to have a future as other than a mendicant upon the British state.
In that light, this paper both
raises and widens the horizons of debate. It uses the notion of governance
to think afresh about Northern Ireland's congeries of economic and social
concerns, and how to address them politically, drawing on a gamut of experience
of regions and nations outside the UK.
Questions of governance, particularly
of regional governance, have come very much to the fore in recent years
as old methods of economic regulation have become inadequate. Globalisation
of the financial markets has limited the scope for Keynesian demand management
by national governments. Industrial policy can no longer 'pick winners'
from a small and stable group of large dominating firms. Portfolio workers
no longer fit into neat industrial labour forces corralled into big union
How to respond? "Many
countries have been aided in coping with these problems of changing mechanisms
of economic regulation by having effective regional governments that have
the local knowledge to aid industry, and also well-structured industrial
districts that can provide collective services to industry through public-private
co-operation. They have also benefited from extended dialogue between
the organised interests at local level and thus the possibility of wider
co-operation that can survive the demise of highly centralised corporatist
The next three sections of
this paper address these three concerns—about effective regional government,
dialogue between organised interests, and public-private co-operation.
This is followed by a discussion of social cohesion. The final three parts
look at policy co-ordination, linking top-down and bottom-up approaches,
and how regional needs can be reflected at 'national' level. It then concludes
with a strategic focus for the development of Northern Ireland plc as
a 'global region', a series of recommendations to translate that into
reality, and a particular proposal in terms of a regional development
One word recurs throughout
this paper: networks. This needs some prior explanation. Traditionally,
economic governance has been thought of as taking place through markets
or hierarchies, but a third form—networks—has come increasingly to the
"Where transactions involve
activities that are complex, uncertain and iterative—technology-related
transactions being the best examples—markets are a poor conduit for the
diffusion of information and knowledge, and especially of tacit knowledge.
However, the hierarchical firm of the 'Fordist' era is also a less than
ideal solution in a context of profound technological change and market
uncertainty. Hence, proponents of the network form of governance argue
that, for certain activities, network structures can overcome market imperfections
on the one hand and the rigidities of the vertically-integrated hierarchy
on the other."
It should be stressed that
networks are not a bewildering array of red tape. On the contrary, they
represent a flexible and accessible alternative to bureaucratic hierarchies
on the one hand while, on the other, offering a can-do alternative to
resigned acceptance of the vagaries of the market.
structures and processes key to economic success
The challenge Northern Ireland
faces in economic terms is clear enough: it comes bottom on the scale
of regional gross domestic product per capita in the UK, which itself
ranks 10th out of 15 EU members in GDP per head (ahead of Finland, Sweden,
Spain, Portugal and Greece).
The European Commission has
identified some factors lying behind the regional disparities in the EU:
education and training of the labour force; research and technology development
(RTD); labour force participation; investment, especially in transport,
energy and telecommunications; foreign direct investment; and productivity/labour
RTD is perhaps worth singling
out because it is crucial to the transformations required of a lagging
region like Northern Ireland. The concept links the end of innovation
to the means of research and development, thus embracing technical capacity
overall. Analysis of regions in Norway and Sweden has demonstrated
a clear link between RTD and GDP per capita.
"RTD describes a web of
activities related to the generation, acquisition, transfer and use of
technology, It includes research, development, demonstration, technology
transfer and technical innovation. It covers the spectrum of knowledge
generation as well as application. RTD-intensive industries are innovative,
produce several new products and have higher levels of productivity, expand
their employment base more rapidly and are ultimately more competitive
than traditional and low technology businesses ... The economic performance
of a region indicates, therefore, whether its enterprises are technologically
innovative and dynamic, or technologically backward and in decline."
Research for the Industrial
Research and Technology Unit has shown that in 1993 total civil expenditure
on R&D by Northern Ireland businesses amounted to just 0.4 per cent
of regional gross domestic product. Only Greece and Portugal, among EU
members, spend less. This need not, however, be a basis for fatalism:
"The most crucial factor is how well a region can adapt to the new
situation and how competitive it is under changing—and perhaps even turbulent—circumstances.
In this sense, every region is more and more the architect of its own
A useful starting point is
David Marquand's argument that the UK's economic decline, relative to
its competitors—including now surpassed by the 'Celtic Tiger'—fundamentally
arose because "Britain had always lacked a 'developmental state'
capable of constructing and guiding a social coalition in favour of economic
change and of harnessing market forces to a long-term national interest".
Interestingly, Marquand believes that "the symbiosis of public and
private power which is the essence of the developmental state can now
be achieved more effectively on the regional or local level than on the
Paul Hirst agrees: "If
public bodies are now able to intervene effectively in the economy it
is in their political capacity, by promoting co-operation between
economic actors and by adopting policies that enable firms to create the
microeconomic conditions for competitive success. Increasingly the public
bodies able to perform these tasks are not conventional national states
but regional governments ... The sites of governance are shifting towards
the supranational and the regional levels: to trade blocs like the European
Community and to regional governments like the German Länder
Dunford and Hudson's research
for the Northern Ireland Economic Council shows that decentralisation
of governance to regions is not in itself enough to guarantee economic
success. They point to Saarland in this regard. In particular,
they stress the need to place a premium on "trust, co-operation and
social inclusion"—on which more below.
Nevertheless, as they concluded
from their study of Abruzzo (Italy), Jutland (Denmark),
Rhône-Alpes (France) and Saarland (Germany), "the most
active regional governments are to be found in the most economically successful
regions, and the fact that they can exercise this degree of pro-activity
is predicated upon their location within national states characterised
by decentralised systems of governance. These involve dense and overlapping
networks of institutions, within both the state and civil society, and
bridging the boundaries between these two spheres."
All this throws a new light
on an old argument about governance structures appropriate for Northern
Ireland. For some time the relative merits or otherwise of administrative
or legislative devolution have been debated. Structures which would give
an assembly only administrative and not legislative competencies should
clearly be ruled out as excessively cautious for a 'developmental' region.
The government's plans for
regional development agencies in England are thus not directly transferable.
The RDAs in England are envisaged in a context in which there may not
be regional assemblies and where no previous such agencies existed. The
opposite applies in Northern Ireland. Nevertheless, the idea of RDAs has
a much broader international currency, as is discussed in the final section.
UK regional industrial policy
has traditionally been governed by a conception of the economy which assumed
that the unit was the firm (as recipient of selective assistance), that
the only relationships between firms were of a competitive kind and that
the social relationships in which firms were embedded could be ignored.
Within Northern Ireland, this has been reflected in the operation of the
Department of Economic Development 'family' of agencies, which have seen
their role primarily as offering assistance to individual companies, even
if that has been increasingly geared to levering a 'competitive' response.
In this traditional view, a
region is just a container for centrally determined programmes, whereas,
elsewhere in the EU it is largely seen as an entity in itself. Most EU
member states have become devolved, regionalised or federal during the
post-war period, and many EU regulations—notably the single programming
documents for structural funds allocation—assume an effective regional
body charged with achieving defined objectives for social and economic
"The effects of this contrast
in perspectives between the EU and the UK on issues of regional governance
cannot be over-emphasised. For the regions as containers proposition
what is deemed to be needed is administration—systems to lay down,
spend and account for resources from approved programmes, both national
and European. For the region as level of governance what is needed
is an effective local partnership to determine the nature of the
problem and to draw up, within the rules, an effective and coherent programme
(plan) to deal with it."
2. How business
and other social partners engage in decision-making
In Marquand's view, "Local
developmentalism squares quite well, may indeed require, a public philosophy
of dialogue, power-sharing and negotiation."
an interesting model for Northern Ireland in this regard. One of 15 new
regions established in Italy in 1970 (in addition to five prior special
regions), it represents a dramatic economic success story—outperforming
even the other successful northern Italian regions since the late 80s:
its nominal GDP in 1990 was almost four times what it was in 1977. So
it offers interesting insights into how to construct effective regional
governance, starting from scratch.
An ironic comparison with Northern
Ireland is the built-in majority for one political party in Emilia-Romagna,
but of a rather different hue—the former Communists, now the Party of
the Democratic Left. And the reaction to that potential power monopoly
has also been rather different, as a study of the first 20 years of the
regional government concluded: "What sets Emilia-Romagna apart from
other regions in Italy is the open nature of the majority party to the
involvement of opposition leaders, other levels of government and interest-group
leaders in the decision-making process."
In the 70s the then new region,
under the banner 'a new way to govern', engaged in consultations with
interest groups and local governments. "The expected outcome of this
strategy was the creation of a regional identity and sense of common purpose.
As expressed by the new president (Lanfranco Turci) in 1978, the goal
of the consultation was the grassrooting of the regional institution in
the respective historical, cultural, economic and social realities of
One of the strengths of all
the northern Italian regions is their level of associational life: 96
per cent of councillors surveyed in the region said they were quite satisfied.
And no surprise. The 'Emilian model' is focused on small, even micro-,
firms and half of Emilia's 140,000 businesses are members of the National
Confederation of Artisans (an incredible 96 per cent of workers, meanwhile,
are trade union members). Trade and business associations are the cornerstone
of the 'regional productivity coalition' which has supported such prodigious
growth. This is not just a supporting role: the associations play a crucial
role in management of the business service centres which have been at
the heart of the Emilian approach (see below).
According to Garmise, "the
real lesson of the Emilian model for other regions in Europe can be summed
up in two words: progressive government. Implementing informed social
and economic policy and working through a productivity coalition with
the key social and economic players, Emilia-Romagna [has] been able to
effectively juggle the competing demands for a prosperous economy, social
justice and legitimate political interventionism".
But social partnership may
be even more important for getting out of crises than sustaining success.
another regional successful story, has nevertheless had to face critical
challenges in the 1990s (see below). When the Social Democrats joined
the formerly ruling Christian Democrats in coalition in 1992, the new
administration announced it would pursue a new 'dialogue-oriented economic
policy', designed to involve all the main economic actors in the process
of industrial restructuring: "in other words the process (collaboration)
is a vital prerequisite of the product (competitive renewal)."
In addition to a high-level
taskforce of experts, Future Commission 2000, the government devised a
series of 'common initiatives' for specific sectors. The aim was to bring
together the key players in each—leading firms, industry associations,
chambers of commerce and trade unions, along with research institutes—to
design an agreed sectoral strategy.
The Social Democrat leader
in Denmark recognised similar challenges, of intensified global
competition amidst economic integration, in the late 80s. In 1988 Poul
Rasmussen, then opposition leader, initiated a Strategic Forum, bringing
together 100 key decision-makers from the private sector, trade unions,
public sector and parties, to formulate a new industrial strategy. The
strength of the forum, which met for four years, was that it allowed "a
new élite group of influential and energetic individuals from a
diversity of institutions to meet regularly and think strategically beyond
their immediate interest affiliations."
Closer to home, at a (small)
'national' level, it was out of crisis that the Republic of Ireland
established in the late 80s the social partnership arrangements that are
seen as so central to the 'Celtic Tiger' of today. It is worth recalling
that in 1987 unemployment in the republic was almost 18 per cent, the
debt/GNP ratio nearly 130 per cent—effectively, national insolvency loomed.
By 1997, unemployment had fallen to below 10 per cent, GDP growth was
10 per cent or above and there was a fiscal surplus.
What happened is clear: "In
a context of deep despair in Irish society, the social partners—acting
in the tripartite National Economic and Social Council—hammered out an
agreed strategy to escape from the vicious circle of real stagnation,
rising taxes and exploding debt." The result was a decade of 'negotiated
economic and social governance' which has marked a transformation of economy
and society in the republic.
The partnership arrangements,
intact since 1987, have operated through a succession of three-year deals
between the employers, unions and farmers (and now voluntary sector).
The fundamental premise is to provide reciprocity for wage restraint by
workers through channelling the benefits into wider social purposes, rather
than these being captured by private capital.
The substance of these deals
has embraced not only graduated, moderate wage increases but also tax
reform, evolution of welfare payments, trends in health spending, commitments
to social equality, measures against long-term unemployment and so on.
Lower interest rates, lower inflation and improving competitiveness as
a result have fostered vertiginous economic growth.
Northern Ireland's economic
performance in the 90s has clearly been creditable by comparison to other
UK regions/nations. But the performance of the UK as a whole has been
very poor compared to that of the republic. Here O'Donnell and O'Reardon
have contrasted those European countries, like the republic, Denmark
and the Netherlands, in which "the political economy of inflation,
incomes and public finance is resolved"; those, like France,
where these issues are unresolved; and those, like the UK, "in which
a resolution is achieved by limiting economic growth to 2 or 2.5 per cent".
This provides a useful index
of the performance cost which Northern Ireland pays as a result of the
eschewal (including by the new Labour government) of co-operative arrangements
too glibly dismissed as 'corporatist'. Particularly on a regional level,
there is a very strong case in favour, since the concerns raised by Hirst
about 'centralism' do not apply. (In fairness, the government white paper
on RDAs argues in favour of a partnership approach in the regions.)
The Northern Ireland Economic
Council, as with the NESC in the republic, could be the vehicle for setting
such arrangements in train in Northern Ireland, in the context of a regional
Key to understanding what partnership
is about is a recognition that firms do not only compete in the real world;
they must also collaborate. In Japan they call it kyoryoku shi
nagara kyosa (co-operating while competing): economic relationships
are based on trust, reputation and continuity.
For this to happen, public
support and sponsorship is crucial, at the hub of the networks created
to address and resolve problems. But this may be far more effective expenditure—and
certainly less subject to deadweight or displacement problems—than grants
to individual firms in isolation.
In the US, manufacturing
extension programmes emerged in a number of states, New York for
example, from the mid-80s. But these were premised on "discrete,
one-on-one firm-based projects". Japan, by contrast, gives
special attention to inter-firm organisation in the modernisation
of industry. Thus, for example, to meet the challenge of growing imports
of computers in the late 50s, the Ministry of International Trade and
Industry (MITI) encouraged firms to establish the Japan Electronic Industry
Development Association. In 1957-61, meanwhile, less than $1 million was
given to individual firms in R&D subsidy.
In industrial districts in
Sakaki (Japan), Emilia-Romagna (Italy) and Baden-Württemberg,
Hirst reports, "firms coalesce and co-operate in complex networks.
These networks depend on relationships of trust and mutual commitment
and not simply market and contractual relationships. They are sustained
by ongoing social institutions, which mix the public and the private sectors
into a common 'public sphere' for the industry or region in question.
Firms not only compete but also co-operate, they share information and
certain common services. Such dense networks of mutually supporting firms
and institutions are resilient and flexible in the way firms isolated
in purely competitive relations with others cannot be. Consequently they
can take what appears from the standpoint of a purely competitive market
culture as unacceptable risks, that is, to adopt a long-term view, to
invest in new products and processes which involve anticipating the market
to invest in upgrading the skills of their workers and to share their
knowledge with other firms to enhance their role as partners or subcontractors."
Today competition is primarily
product- rather than price-led. Thus instead of the winner being the firm
that can drive costs down the fastest, it is the firm that can achieve
the most rapid product development. There is already awareness in Northern
Ireland of the potential of 'clusters' of firms to achieve economic dynamism.
But not just any clusters will do: a case study of two regional furniture
clusters, price-led in London but product-led in Italy,
found that when these came into competition the former was rapidly knocked
out by the latter.
cycles extend beyond the firm to encompass a range of suppliers of components
and services, "Networking, or long-term consultative relations replace
both the impersonal, inter-firm market relations and the bureaucratic
internal co-ordination of the autarchic firm from the age of price-led
Modern innovation theory belies
the idea of isolated firms whose relationships to a fabric of social institutions
can be neglected: "innovation is systemic, in the sense that firm-level
innovation processes are generated and sustained by inter-firm relations
and by a wide variety of inter-institutional relationships. Innovation
and the creation of technology involve systematic interactions between
firms and their environments: central links include those with customers
and suppliers, science and technology infrastructures, finance institutions
and so on."
Or, as Marquand puts it, "In
the knowledge- and skill-intensive economies of the late twentieth century
the crucial resources for regional economic development are, by definition,
knowledge and skill. Sub-national agencies, closer than central government
can possibly be to the entrepreneurs and information flows of the region
for which they are responsible, are much better placed to strengthen local
networks of skill and knowledge than is central government, and therefore
much more likely to develop the indigenous capacities of the region."
Thus the role of public authorities
is the promotion of networks which can allow firms in the region to tap
into expertise and knowledge there, and indeed interconnect with networks
worldwide. In a globalised context, this wider horizon has to be the benchmark
of any aspirant—as Northern Ireland should see itself—to the status of
a 'global region'.
Italy shows the scope
for public-private partnership in this light. "The most successful
of these regional economies, like the industrial districts of central
Italy, provide models of economic governance based upon public-private
co-operation. They achieve competitive success in two ways. Through the
provision of collective services, they reduce the costs to firms of key
inputs like trained labour and specialised equipment. And, through activities
that range from collective marketing, to economic intelligence, to pooled
R&D, firms gain from their co-operation with others."
At the heart of the institutional
apparatus in Emilia-Romagna is an agency called ERVET (Ente
Regionale per la Valorizzazione Economica del Territorio), established
by the regional government in 1974, just four years after it came into
being. ERVET provides services through 11 centres defined directly by
sectoral (eg a centre for the upgrading of the shoe industry) or functional
(eg a centre for the upgrading of subcontracting by the vast number of
SMEs in the region) considerations.
Although ERVET is the dominant
shareholder in the centres, it sets a high premium on involving as wide
a social constituency as possible. "The reasons for this are twofold:
first, budgetary constraints mean that all possible sources of finance
must be tapped and, second, the involvement of private-sector interests
means that the latter have a direct stake in the support system, which
in turn enhances its credibility in the eyes of local firms, the main
targets of the support system." Indeed the aim is that services should
as far as possible be self-financing.
But there is more to the involvement
of business in the centres than that. "The importance of the participation
of firms, and business and trade associations in all aspects of the service
centres cannot be over-emphasised. In a centre's preparatory phase, their
participation helps to identify which services should be provided. Often,
no explicit demand for services existed; they were formulated through
the interaction of the various participants. Once a centre was established,
the participation of these actors ensured that there would be continuous
feedback on the services, thus allowing the centre to correct faults and
develop new types of services when the requirements changed."
It is also notable that while
the services offered by the centres include such familiar elements as
training and consultancy, they also embrace product certification, market
research, administration of trade fairs, assessment of the benefits or
otherwise of new equipment, and the collection of information on innovative
solutions to common industry problems. It is thus unsurprising that only
two focus on functions internal to firms, while seven target inter-firm
offers a complex network infrastructure. It has 50 higher education institutes,
40 private applied research centres and 31 R&D institutes—as well
as a Centre of Innovation and Technology. "Together these organisations
form a dense network of public and private science-oriented organisations
... The transformation of the NRW infrastructure into an effective network
support system has not been determined by the mere number of institutions
providing innovative services. It is when these institutions are linked
together that their individual information supplies and problem-solving
capacities add up to a support infrastructure with a high level of connectivity."
the infrastructure is again remarkable. A population of fewer than 10
million supports 11 Max Planck institutes (for fundamental research),
13 Fraunhofer institutes (applied research), 20 industrial contract
research institutes, 120 Steinbeis Foundation technology transfer centres
(for SMEs), nine universities and 39 polytechnics. Much of the research
activity is industry-orientated and funded. The regional ministry of economic
affairs and technology is responsible for the Haus der Wirtschaft
(trade and industry promotion), the Landesgewerbeamt (promotion
of SME co-operation), the GWZ (agency for international economic co-operation),
the Steinbeis Foundation (assessment of venture funding for SMEs) and
the Landeskreditbank (state credit bank). There are 13 chambers
of commerce, as well as industry, employer and trade union associations.
To look at the technology transfer
centres in more detail, most are attached to a higher education institution;
most of their 2,500+ staff are full-time professors employed by the Steinbeis
Foundation. Though the foundation is publicly supported, it claims some
95 per cent of its income is from services rendered. But it is able to
offer SMEs a below-market price as well as a decentralised service. Chambers
of commerce—in which membership is compulsory and whose resources are
therefore substantial—themselves offer a wide range of sophsticated services,
including technology transfer. By diffusing best practice, the centres
and chambers keep SMEs on an innovative footing.
Japan has similar arrangements
to those in Germany. Regional governments have enough autonomy to draw
up regionally sensitive industrial policies. And technology transfer happens
through the kohsetsushi, local centres for the testing of innovations.
The 178 centres are sponsored by the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency
of MITI but administered by prefecture governments, which along with local
authorities provide most of the funding. They offer research services,
technology assistance, testing, training and management assistance to
SMEs; of their 6,900 staff 5,300 are engineers and research consumes half
of staff time. They also co-operate with the Japan Small Business Corporation.
The JSBC, a public agency,
administers 'exchange groups' of SMEs—interestingly, not confined to the
same sector—which have distinctive but potentially complementary technologies.
By the early 90s there were more than 2,500 exchange groups involving
some 80,000 firms. They enjoy subsidies for joint R&D expenditure.
It was this emphasis on technological 'fusion' which, for example, brought
dramatic diffusion of numerical control and industrial robots—through
marrying mechanical and electronic technologies—in the machine tool industry
in the late 70s and early 80s.
In Denmark, the semi-private
Danish Technology Institute has brought into being 400 networks involving
2000 firms, with participants invited to reorganise their division of
labour to mutual advantage. Thus, for example, a holding company was brought
into being encompassing seven furniture firms, two of whom took responsibility
for specialist production of particular lines.
The experience of Italy, Germany
and Denmark has itself come to influence thinking in several US
states, Massachusetts for example, which now provide seed money
to stimulate manufacturing networks in defined sectors—often brokered
by a third party—to address common concerns and secure economies of scale
in product development, marketing, finance, training and so on. It has
been estimated that by 1994 27 states were hosting 140 networks involving
Clearly, the implications for
governance here are of enabling and facilitating, as much as if not more
than executing and directing—steering rather than rowing, in the clichéd
phrase. But that means government must see itself as operating in the
context of a dense set of social and institutional networks if real partnership
is to be built.
It is a worrying absence,
therefore, that in all intergovernmental propositions for the future of
Northern Ireland—including the 'heads of agreement' proposed in January
1998 as well as the far more detailed joint framework document of February
1995—this whole domain of public-private co-operation is nowhere addressed.
An indication of the importance
of networks is the sad case of the Antrim science park. It is not that
the idea of technology parks is wrong—for example, Spain has nine
while Finland has seven. The problem is that such parks tend to
fail if not located in proximity to a university with which organic relationships
are established—a study of 116 US research parks found that links
to a first-class research university were one of a number of success factors.
Reliance on local networks
alone, it should be recognised, can lead to what one commentator has called
the 'entropic death' of regions; innovation needs links to international
networks. Thus in Italy there is evidence that the downside of
the networks of trust and co-operation in its successful industrial districts
may be conservatism about products and divisions of labour.
A contrary example, however,
is how Emilia-Romagna learnt how it could improve its ceramics
industry from the experience of Valencia—which in turn had applied
a network brokerage model used in Denmark in the same industry.
"Those regions which are successful in forging these links may be
termed global regions and are likely to witness a significant increase
in competitiveness and rapid economic development."
Indeed, the considerable economic
success of Wales in recent years has been assisted by its relationships
with Baden-Württemberg. Wales now has a regional technology strategy,
two 'technopoles', a relay centre (for access by firms to European R&D),
a variety of innovation centres, innovative training programmes and technical
So what's in this for Baden-Württemberg?
The success of Wales has focused on attraction of inward investment, notably
Japanese. Baden-Württemberg is over-dependent on the car industry
where it has had to face intense Japanese competition (see below). Wales'
first-hand experience of Japanese methods has thus been of value.
strengths in mechanical engineering do not extend to micro-electronics,
where Wales is perceived as being more innovative. And the other side
of the coin of its economic growth in the 80s has been mounting social
and environmental costs, which have made location in the region increasingly
unattractive; growth has turned into stagnation in the 90s.
The moral is that Northern
Ireland does not have a hand-me-down economic model which can be taken
from another context (it doesn't, by the by, have a political one either).
Cooke, Price and Morgan's comments are apposite in this regard: "The
last thing Wales needs is to be given a new model to copy; much better
the posture that has been adopted of studying and learning from others
but adjusting within the parameters of its own institutional structures,
as they are and as they might become."
for ensuring social cohesion
Social cohesion has often been
seen in the UK as something of an optional extra: as and when sufficient
wealth is created, so more welfare can be distributed; indeed there has
been a substantial head of steam behind the idea in recent years that
even the internationally low welfare benefits which are provided in the
UK inhibit wealth creation through acting as a disincentive to work. In
fact, the contrary is the truth.
As Dunford and Hudson concluded
from their four-regions study, "Social cohesion is not simply a product
of economic success but also a precondition for it." The reason for
this is that the former makes possible the networks of co-operation and
trust on which the latter depends (more on 'social capital' below).
'Social exclusion' has become
a recent addition to Northern Ireland's crowded political lexicon. Some
might see it simply as a new-Labourisation of old poverty. On the contrary,
'social exclusion' was coined in France in the 1970s and "it
would be misleading to view it as simply a new veneer on old problems.
'Social exclusion' is also contemporary, even forward-looking, as it is
used to emphasise that changes in economic and social life have rendered
old remedies to social problems less effective, if not obsolete. New times
have brought different forms of poverty and inequality, requiring modern
Public expenditure is not a
sufficient condition for success in achieving social inclusion: there
is widespread consensus that traditional welfare regimes are no longer
adequate for a range of reasons and need comprehensive reform and renewal.
Nevertheless, substantial expenditure is a necessary condition
of social inclusion measures in general and active labour market policies
The reason for this is that
social inclusion is fundamentally about ensuring that everyone enjoys
adequate insurance for life in today's 'risk society'. It is ensuring
that the risks of unemployment, ill-health, and so on are minimised; that,
should individuals fall fall of them, they do not become excluded from
society; and that, should they become excluded, they are the subject of
active measures for their reinclusion.
In theory, this insurance can
fall on individuals privately (through private health insurance, for example),
on individuals socially (through social insurance contributions by employees
and employers) or society collectively (through general taxation). But
it must fall somewhere, and in whatever form it does fall, as with any
insurance scheme, what you get depends on what you are willing to pay,
individually or severally.
The difficulty in a UK context
is that government has steadily eroded its own revenue base to accommodate
a tax-averse constituency, while on the other hand not exercising the
necessary leadership to require individuals to develop individual insurance
alternatives (though this is clearly the way government thinking is moving
on pension provision). Even if it were explicitly to go down the latter
route, however, there would be an obvious danger of growing middle-class
tax-aversion and impoverishment of public services for the poor.
The Treasury's commitment to
spending limits established by the previous administration have thus severely
reduced what can be done to tackle social exclusion anywhere in the UK,
as compared to the greater protection in continental Europe (hence the
embarrassments to New Labour of the lone-parent benefit cut and disability
benefit scares). The differentials of around 10 points in general government
receipts as percentage of GDP with Germany, France and Italy,
and around 20 points with Denmark and the Netherlands, that
have opened up during the 18 years of the outgoing government massively
restrict the freedom of manoeuvre of its successor. Moreover, despite
the historic largesse built in via the Barnett formula, Northern Ireland
is suffering disproportionate reductions under the plans left by the outgoing
administration for 1997-98 and 1998-99.
These fiscal constraints simply
render impossible in the UK approaches to social cohesion adopted in countries
like Germany and Sweden. "While German and Swedish
policies leave much to be desired, they do seem to provide their citizens
with the means to resist the threat of social exclusion more effectively
than do the British." In both the former cases, social insurance
systems are near-comprehensive, with little reliance on the social security
safety net; in the former, it is social insurance itself which is becoming
residual, as the social security budget mushrooms.
Thus, for example, around two-thirds
of the unemployed in Sweden receive earnings-related unemployment benefit,
set at 80 per cent of previous earnings; whereas in the UK fewer than
one in five of the unemployed receive insurance-based benefits, a flat-rate
payment equivalent to only 23 per cent of previous earnings on average.
(Ironically, there is far less concern about the alleged disincentive
effects of these much higher benefits in Germany and Sweden than in the
Similar considerations apply
to active labour market policies—training, placements, wage subsidies,
job creation, etc. These are much more developed in Germany and Sweden,
backed by high public expenditure; it is significant that by contrast
the introduction of Welfare to Work in the UK has been confined initially
to the young long-term unemployed and is dependent on a windfall tax for
As for the New Deal itself,
it is crucial that it is not seen by those responsible for its delivery
as, in effect, just another subsidy—with no policy purchase in return
for the investment and with dissatisfied 'customers' emerging at the end
of it. That is best guaranteed by ensuring that there is a clear 'contract'
between every individual and the organisation which, under the four options,
is responsible for their employment/education/training, under which the
rights of the former, the responsibilities of the latter, and the requirements
of both, are clearly defined in reasonable and agreeable terms. This would
follow the model of the revenu minimum d'insertion arrangements
But Welfare to Work will at
best be a remedial palliative. And a further consequence of the absence
of effective political leadership in the UK for many years has been to
focus on such short-term measures, which can relate to electoral cycles,
rather than to take a long-term view. Yet it is much better to ensure
a no-failure culture in school, as in Japan and other Pacific-rim
states, than to try to train its rejects later. In 1996 it was discovered
that more than one in five Jobskills trainees attending the Belfast Institute
for Further and Higher Education had "major problems with basic literacy
Northern Ireland's educational
performance looks quite good against England's (though not non-selective
Scotland's), but stands up very poorly internationally. In 1991-2, 39
per cent of young people in Northern Ireland achieved an upper secondary
qualification (two or more A-levels or international equivalent), compared
with only 29 per cent in England; but the figures for France, Germany
and Japan were 48, 68 and an extraordinary 80 per cent respectively.
As the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee concluded, this leaves the region's
workforce hopelessly adrift of the requirements of an internationalised
economy suffused by information and communication technologies and characterised
by an increasing rate of innovation.
Germany, like Northern Ireland,
does not have a comprehensive education system. But what is remarkable
about it is that it is non-selective—post-primary transfers are determined
by parents on the advice of teachers and are revocable, depending on subsequent
performance—and that vocational schools intrude into the grammar/secondary
binary divide. Most of the vocational pupils go on to technical universities—like
the former UK polytechnics, before these pursued the status goal of universities.
Indeed one of the big weaknesses of education in Northern Ireland, by
comparison, is the cinderella status of vocational education: nearly four
times as much is spent on higher than on further education in the region.
Yet better still to ensure
all citizens start off with an equal chance in life than accept that some
will always be more equal than others. At the heart of any social inclusion
programme is the question of childcare in general and early-years provision
in particular. No area should attract higher priority for mainstream funding.
Dramatic support for this approach
is provided by the study in the US showing that every dollar spent
on early years saves seven in adult costs: unemployment, crime, drug abuse
and so on. Recent government commitments to expand nursery education are
welcome, but just how far there is to go is indicated by the fact that
Scandinavian countries spend 3-4 times as much as the UK per head
on early-years education, while Germany, Austria and Italy
spend nearly twice as much.
The implication of this is
that for as long as global public expenditure in the UK remains depressed
as a proportion of GDP compared to, say, the EU average, expenditure priorities
need to shift. Within education, that will be a reorientation from high-achievers
towards low-, from higher education towards vocational and nursery. This
is all part of a far wider argument about the need to move in government
from 'curative' to 'preventative' expenditures. Health spending should
move from hospitals towards health promotion, law and order from the police
towards crime prevention, and so on.
This is the wider strategic
context in which the government's Comprehensive Spending Review should
be set—not just a search for discrete savings to meet ever-increasing
demands. Crucial legitimacy could be given to this process, which would
indeed involve 'hard choices', if there were to be much greater transparency
in the public expenditure allocations process. Involvement of the Northern
Ireland Economic Council, revamped to include the voluntary sector, or
the establishment of a Northern Ireland Economic and Social Forum to concert
all the social partners afresh, would provide a mechanism for structured
input by business, the unions, the farmers and the voluntary sector into
But the whole thrust of the
idea of social exclusion is that civil society itself, not just government,
has a responsibility to its most vulnerable members. What fundamentally
differentiates European from US social models, in the round, is that both
social and Christian democrats in Europe accept the biblical premise 'I
am my brother's keeper'. And one of the key ways of recognising that is
for the social 'insiders' to show restraint at least, and redistribution
at best, towards society's outsiders.
A key role here falls on the
social partners. If they are prepared to engage in 'defensive solidarity
bargaining', they can favour employment rather than insider wage gains
or job losses. Modern society is not just increasingly unequal in money
terms; time is also increasingly ill-distributed with many in employment
feeling they must work far longer than they would wish, while many out
of work have nothing but time on their hands. The CBI and ICTU could
thus endorse job security, reduced hours, flexible hours (in any event
desirable to match domestic responsibilities), job sharing and sabbaticals,
in terms of bargaining by their affiliates, to render insider/outsider
barriers a little more porous.
In Germany there is
currently considerable anxiety about what is called Reformstau—the
blockage of reform. Nevertheless, Northern Ireland would happily trade
places with all the old 11 west German Länder, and if it may
risk sclerosis undoubtedly the web of institutionalised relationships
so characteristic of its 'organised capitalism' model has considerable
Take training. Matched-plant
research between Northern Ireland and the former west Germany in the late
80s demonstrated a gulf in productivity, traceable in these cases not
to differences in capital intensity but in the capacities of staff to
use machinery to greatest effect—linked to workforce qualifications. Northern
Ireland had only 45 per cent as many graduates and 49 per cent as many
technicians working in manufacturing.
By 12 years after leaving school,
four out of five Germans have a training certificate or a third-level
degree; most of the rest have received some formal post-secondary education
or training. This is achieved by a co-ordinated drive by the state, business,
the unions and individuals.
The state provides vocational
schools in which apprentices spend one or two days a week and sets standards
for vocational qualifications. Unions and employers co-operate in defining
the detailed content of apprenticeships and moderating trainee wages.
Chambers of industry and commerce monitor training performance by local
firms. Wage setting and monitoring by works councils prevents employers
poaching trained workers as an alternative to training investment. These
institutional arrangements ensure the necessary incentives for school
students to work hard to compete for apprenticeships, while accepting
trainee wages, and for employers to offer and subsidise training places,
while accepting external regulation.
The implications of this
for Northern Ireland are again that a much greater concertation needs
to be effected between key social players. Yet the whole value of a regional
focus is precisely that the regional level is sufficiently small-scale
for trust-based personal relationships to be developed, whereas central
government often betrays a remoteness from regional conditions ('the man
from Whitehall knows best').
We are back again to the key
role of networks. "What matters most from a developmental standpoint
is not institutions per se but the networking capacity of institutions,
that is their disposition to collaborate effectively for mutually beneficial
Underpinning all this needs
to be a commitment to nurturing what has been called 'social capital'.
As Robert Putnam has pointed out, outside of a world of saints, "universal
altruism is a quixotic premise for social action". Yet all of the
foregoing argument depends on key actors being prepared not to look at
situations from a wholly selfish perspective—such as an employer 'free-riding'
by poaching other employers' skilled labour rather than invest in training
him/herself. Equally, it is clear that a coercive collectivism has, globally,
had its day.
The solution is to seek to
accumulate social capital—trust, norms and networks which can facilitate
co-ordinated action, for the long-term benefit of all. Just how beneficial
this invisible form of capital can be is demonstrated by the stark contrast
in economic and institutional performance between the northern and southern
regions of Italy. Putnam's research into this contrast came up
with surprising results. The economic achievements of regions like Lombardy
are not themselves the cause of effective governance structures. Rather,
both are in part the effect of the greater civic culture embedded in the
northern regions, reflected in both the 'civic-mindedness' of its citizens
and their involvement in associational life.
In northern Italy, a virtuous
circle exists. Social capital tends to accumulate, not deplete, when used
(indeed it depletes when unused), and the northern regions betray
a self-reinforcing and cumulative reliance on trust, norms and networks.
Because, for example, two firms participate together in a network, with
clear norms as to how they should behave, they develop greater trust,
which in turn brings commitment to participation in the network ... and
so on. In the south, however, matters are different: dependency, individualism
and corruption prevent the civic participation and collaboration out of
which economic and political success are made.
"Emilia-Romagna is not
populated by angels, but within its borders (and those of neighbouring
regions in north-central Italy) collective action of all sorts, including
government, is facilitated by norms and networks of civic engagement."
Cynicism may, in that sense, be an even bigger dragon to slay in Northern
Ireland than sectarianism.
One of the barriers to effective
government action is, of course, the problem of interdepartmentalism.
Government is not organised by task but department. The orientation therefore
tends towards executing a process rather than securing an outcome.
"The core problem for
government is that it has inherited from the nineteenth century a model
of organisation that is structured around functions and services rather
than around solving problems. Budgets are divided into separate silos
for health, education, law and order and so on. The vertical links between
departments and agencies in any one field and professional groups such
as the police, teachers, doctors and nurses are strong. The horizontal
links are weak or non-existent."
Unfortunately, this quest for
'holistic government' is in its infancy, as everywhere the focus of public
management reform in the 1980s and 90s has tended to be on rendering service
delivery more 'efficient'—through agentisation, privatisation, purchaser-provider
division and so on. The fundamental problem of departmentalism has not
been affected (indeed co-ordination problems have been reinforced as government
Holistic government not only
implies a preventative, rather than curative, focus. It also entails that
budgets and organisations be defined in terms of outcomes, not service
delivery (however efficient). Take a simple micro-example from France:
youth homelessness. Like almost all problems, this straddles conventional
departments: young people without a roof will also be without a job, and
they may well suffer social or psychological damage from family break-up—a
task therefore for the housing authorities, the employment service and
social services, at least. The answer in France has been to establish
foyers—hostels where young people can be housed, where they can
have structured training, and where their personal problems can be attended
Once more, there are no identikit
models for Northern Ireland to copy. Suffice it to say that its small
size and the sense that new governance structures are (at its most optimistic)
in the making potentially allows new approaches to be tried.
In this regard, however,
it is worrying that some proposals for a new Northern Ireland assembly
envisage no superordinate body above departmental committees. An executive
structure is imperative if 'departmental silos' are to prised open.This
is where a regional development agency in Northern Ireland could play
a unique role. By having a brief which cut across departmental lines,
it could much more readily adopt an holistic perspective.
top-down and bottom-up approaches
Ensuring co-ordination between
'top-down' and 'bottom-up' approaches is essentially a matter of developing
a proper relationship at regional level between civil society and state.
Take a major problem that arose
in Baden-Württemberg. The large car firms in the region, like
Mercedes Benz, Porsche and Audi, discovered that Japanese companies using
'lean production' methods could produce a car as good as a Mercedes for
half the price. Lean production means extensive use of subcontractors,
however, and the problem the German firms faced was that their small suppliers
did not have the capacity to carry out the R&D required to save costs,
despite pressure to do so.
In a region like Baden-Württemberg,
however, there will be a branch of the machinery industry employers' association,
in touch with a very large number of firms, so that a problems such as
this will be quickly flagged up. Because there is a regional government,
the employers' representative will in turn be able quickly to make contact
with the key civil servant in the ministry for industry, or the minister
him/herself. In this case, two months after the first signals of the problem
occurring a large US industrial consultant had been commissioned.
The research recommended that
the SMEs co-operate to support the R&D which they couldn't execute
themselves. But the former responded by saying that this risked sharing
their know-how with competitor suppliers. So the answer was to allocate
the problem to one of the Fraunhofer research institutes: independent
if in part publicly funded, it was able to act as honest broker amongst
the SMEs. "This is a sign of what happens in an institution-rich
region, where the state is not the centre of activity, but is there in
a support role, along with intermediaries. A sign of what can be done
when you have regional government."
This is a subtle point. While
the Land government has been centrally involved in devising an
innovation strategy to address the global challenges of the 1990s, the
principle of Selbstverwaltung (the self-government of society by
the organised groups within it) remains intact—this is not French-style
dirigism. "In contrast to the dirigiste approach, the regional
state in Baden-Württemberg is trying to animate these groups so that
they are more, not less, able to help themselves."
In Northern Ireland there
is a tendency to assume the state will, would or should do everything.
It is an assumption which has to change if responsibility is to be more
widely diffused and the necessary investment made in developing trust-based,
Thus while in Denmark
the return of the Social Democrats to power in 1993 brought back the state
more centrally into industrial policy, this was in a 'dialogic and developmental'
fashion. Amin and Thomas conclude that "what appears to be emerging
... is a complex governance network in which the central authority plays
the role of strategy maker, coordinator, arbitrator and
consensus builder. As a consequence ... the state is also having to
attend to the equally important role of fostering a common frame of meaning
and action among relevant economic and social organisations."
The concept of the 'negotiated
economy' has been developed to comprehend this set of relationships in
Denmark. As a form of governance, it has five aspects: "The first
is a high level of interest representation and organisation of public
life across economy, politics and society. The second is the considerable
spread of decisional authority and autonomy across a system of plural
interest representation. Third, and as a consequence, the state plays
a distinctive role as arbitrator and facilitator between autonomous organisations,
in addition to that of rule-maker and specialised provider of collective
services. The fourth aspect concerns the evolution of a dense network
of vertical and horizontal channels of representation and communication
as the basis for decision-making and policy co-ordination. The final aspect
is the reliance on iterative dialogue for conflict resolution and policy
consensus, through a variety of routine organisational devices such as
informal policy networks, arbitration councils, multi-interest special
committees and co-representation."
This last point is perhaps
the most crucial. For a key concern in the 90s, even for successful regions
like Emilia-Romagna, is that today's prosperous economy can become
tomorrow's backwater, given the impact of intense global competition on
endogenously-engendered growth, and given the increasing pace of trechnological
innovation. Policy must thus not just be got right: it requires constant
re-evaluation, in conjunction with key actors in the real economic world,
if it is to continue to meet the needs of the moment and grasp the opportunities
of the time.
7. Reflecting regional needs
at 'national' level
Northern Ireland's experience
of macro-economic policy management determined by the contemporary economic
and policy climate of the home counties has not always been a happy one.
In the early 60s, the tight fiscal squeeze did for Lord Brookeborough's
premiership at Stormont. In the early 80s, the pursuit of what the economics
editor of the Observer called 'sado-monetarism' had disastrous
de-industrialising effects on the region as a series of branch plants
Despite some worthy work in
Parliament by the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee (for example its
recent report on educational disadvantage), Northern Ireland remains unable
to impress any substantial regional concerns—outside of the narrowly political—UK-wide.
The televising of Parliament in the 1980s dramatically revealed the ghettoisation
of Northern Ireland concerns, with the sea of green benches visible at
Northern Ireland question time.
It is unfortunate in that context
that government has so far confined its proposals on the second chamber
to removal of hereditary peers. Germany provides a useful alternative
model, where the Bundesrat provides a forum for representatives
of the 16 Länder. Transforming the obsolete Lords into a vehicle
for representation of the regions and nations of a devolving UK represents
the obvious way forward.
Similar considerations apply
to monetary policy specifically, which via interest rates can impose unnecessarily
harsh constraints on a high-unemployment region like Northern Ireland.
It is thus very welcome that the recent appointments to the court of the
now quasi-independent Bank of England have included Roy Bailie. The independence
of the Bundesbank in Germany is well-known; the regional representation
from the Länder on the bank is less so.
The influence of regional government
at national level is, only at first sight paradoxically, proportional
to the degree of autonomy the region enjoys. Thus, Rhône-Alpes
enjoys less influence over national government than its Italian and German
counterparts in the Four Motors project, lacking as it does legislative
The principle of cumul de
mandats (multiple postholding), it is true, does allow regional politicians
to become national political figures in France. But leaders holding dual
or even triple mandates in Northern Ireland has had obvious negative effects
on performance—at all levels.
Of course, for a very high
proportion of the population in Northern Ireland, the 'national' to which
they refer is Ireland. Irrespective of that, it is in everyone's interests
in the region to ensure its governance structures are consonant with
the pursuit of its broad public interest in an Irish context. The
recent policy disaster of the abandonment of the common tourism logo,
by unilateral decision of the minister in the republic, is a negative
case in point.
What help can we derive, then,
from transfrontier initiatives elsewhere in Europe? Sabine Weyand points
out that central governments still tend to regard these as part of international
relations and that regions can only take responsibility for external policy
fields for which they hold internal competence. This highlights the proportionate
relationship between the degree of autonomy of any new Northern Ireland
administration and its capacity to pursue north-south co-ordination. A
useful target of inter-regional agreements in Europe in this context has
been to secure, through co-ordination, an outcome no less favourable than
would have been achieved had the regions concerned been part of the same
Other, more negative, lessons
comes from one of the grandest of inter-regional agreements, the 'Four
Motors of Europe'. Founded in 1988, this brought together Rhône-Alpes,
Baden-Württemberg, Lombardy and Catalonia, yet
its high expectations for high-tech synergy have not been borne out: "The
approach they have taken could be characterised as a 'top-down' approach
to co-operation. Projects have in general been conceived at a political
level and do not necessarily address any particular need of the regions
involved ... Co-operation is thus in effect limited to the public sector;
economic and social actors, not to mention the public at large, are not
actively involved. Institutions which might help to structure interaction
and ensure continuity have not been established. Co-operation has therefore
very often taken the form of ad-hoc events such as conferences or exhibitions
rather than medium to long-term projects."
By contrast, the longstanding
'SaarLorLux' association—embracing Saarland, Lorraine and
Luxembourg—has been more successful. Integration requires 'social
learning' on either side of borders, Weyand argues. "Associations
such as SarLorLux ... with their extensive involvement of a range of governmental
and social actors and their emphasis on creating contacts between the
citizens of their regions, thus offer better chances for 'social learning'
than purely or predominantly governmental associations, like, for instance,
the 'Four Motors of Europe'."
Much of this comes down to
popular political will. In an Irish context, O'Neill rightly insists.
"It is the vision inside the heads of business people and citizens
on both sides of the border that is the most important variable shaping
the future for this island. A huge potential exists for enhanced co-operation
between companies on both sides of the border, sharing marketing costs
as well as investment costs. Such networks, successfully employed in Denmark
and other European countries, could be put quickly into place, playing
a catalytic role in releasing the potential for trade-led growth. It is
people who will build the future, not economic models or international
funds. Hence a key priority for policy-makers and businesses will be to
build cross-border linkages: between educational institutions and enterprises;
between voluntary groups and local authorities; and between suppliers
and new customers.
It is already well accepted
in the economic debate in Northern Ireland, for example around the Growth
Challenge, that so-called 'agglomeration economies'—commonly referred
to as clusters—are important to the region's wellbeing. But this paper
takes the argument much further, towards an overall strategic economic
perspective. It has looked not only at the what but also the how of regional
economic development in the round in several other contexts.
Amin and Thrift argue that
"the pertinent message to emerge from the volume of research on new
industrial agglomerations such as Silicon Valley and industrial districts
in Italy, or other centres of growth such as the City of London or Hollywood,
is that global processes can be 'pinned down' in some places, to become
the basis for self-sustaining growth at the local level."
The emphasis in understanding
industrial agglomerations, they contend, has shifted from economic (eg
product specialisation) to social and cultural factors—such as inter-firm
collaboration, common industrial purpose, social consensus, institutional
supports, and so on. In turn, this means a focus on place. Face-to-face
contacts matter; social and cultural interactions occur in defined geographical
The 'institutional thickness'
of a region is thus crucial to success, from financial institutions to
chambers of commerce to innovation centres and so. But not just any institutions:
the north-east of England, for instance, like Northern Ireland, has plenty
of ineffective institutions.
And institutions are only a
necessary, not a sufficient, condition of 'thickness': "The institutions
involved must be actively engaged with and conscious of each other, displaying
high levels of contact, co-operation, and information exchange ... often
embodied in shared rules, conventions, and knowledge ..."
What is further required are
'patterns of coalition', so that collective representation rises above
sectional interests and rogue behaviour is controlled. And last, but by
no means least, it is essential that the participants in these institutions
recognise themselves to be involved in a common enterprise with at least
a 'loosely defined script' to which they adhere.
'Thickness' establishes legitimacy,
nourishes trust, stimulates entrepreneurship and consolidates the 'embeddedness'
of firms. "It is, in other words, a simultaneous collectivisation
and corporatisation of economic life, fostered and facilitated by particular
institutional and cultural traditions ..."
But the global context means
Northern Ireland's 'particular traditions' must be reinvented. Amin and
Thrift conclude that "what is needed is to develop a more open and
positive cultural regionalism which can cope with the increase in the
economic, social and cultural connections between places that globalisation
has helped to bring about. It will be a regionalism based on more open,
mobile, and inclusive senses of identity, able to be positioned in a set
of economic, social, and cultural networks of global extent, but not swamped
In their study for the Northern
Ireland Economic Council of successful EU regions, Dunford and Hudson
highlighted a number of features from which Northern Ireland can learn.
Prosperous regions, they discovered,
- exhibit a high degree of
social cohesion and inclusion;
- achieve co-operative industrial
relations, matching flexibility with security;
- enjoy inter-firm co-operation
- embed high-value-added inward
investment in the regional economy;
- pursue strategies to foster
innovation and technology transfer;
- have enabling institutions
of governance, which have 'learned to learn';
- maximise the potential of
cross-border synergies; and
- manifest a vibrant civil
society, to which the state is permeable.
In its statement on their research,
the NIEC pulled no political punches. Urging a 'culture of commitment'
throughout the political, economic and social spectrum in Northern Ireland,
it said: "One of the themes to emerge from the case studies is the
importance of developing governance and institutional arrangements based
on co-operation and trust. These make it easier to develop a strategic
and integrated policy approach and they facilitate a shared culture of
commitment involving the public and private sectors as well as local authorities
and the voluntary and community sector. While it is undoubtedly the case
that all of these sectors are showing much increased signs of effort and
enthusiasm to resolve economic problems, it is also clear that these efforts
are taking place against a backdrop of long-standing and deep division
within society. The vital ingredient of local political leadership
has been lacking. In these circumstances, it is highly questionable
whether it is realistically possible to generate the degree of co-operation
and trust that are found to be at the core of other more successful parts
of Europe. This places great emphasis on reaching agreement on governance
structures for Northern Ireland that will promote successful economic
Interestingly, given the political
tensions which bedevil Northern Ireland, the international evidence compiled
in this paper suggests that we do not have to wait, in making progress
on its governance, until the vanishing point when all unionists and nationalists
redirect their sense of identity from London or Dublin to focus on the
region. The economic achievements of Rhône-Alpes, for example,
an entirely artificial construction, indicate that a regional identity
as such is not a precondition for success. Indeed, on the contrary, "Political
institutions at the regional level are ... able to mould identity by introducing
dialogue and collaboration between social actors and defining common regional
The experience of Emilia-Romagna
also bears out this perspective. Drawing on that experience, Nanetti argues
that the developing European (and, it could be added, global) context
requires that regional institutions not just be "administrative-managerial"
but bearers of "a creative and proactive policy approach". And
the elements of a strategic response, of which they can be architects,
- mediating between competing
economic and social interests to establish common objectives;
- promoting economic activity
via analysis and intervention;
- experimenting economically
with new forms of finance, pilot projects and technological diffusion;
- delivering services to business
and consumer associations; and
- realising policies and evaluating
In addition, the context of
regional institutions requires:
- co-ordination on an inter-regional
[and in this context all-Ireland] basis;
- articulation of objectives
vis-à-vis big companies, especially transnationals;
- initiative and collaboration
with state and EU institutions: and
- interpretation and implementation
of state and EU initiatives.
In a sentence, Hutton encapsulates
much of the argument in this paper: "The degree to which an economy's
institutions succeed in underpinning trust and continuity is the extent
to which long-term competitive strength can be sustained."
And as to the political implications,
particularly of the economic success of the German and Italian regions
discussed above, Hutton writes: "The partnership and solidarity of
Rhine-Alpine social market institutions has not been built in a political
vacuum. It is supported by a particular kind of state. Regional government
is strong and culturally entrenched, with a strong tradition of autonomy
and a vigorous regional media ... [T]he state is seen as part of civil
society, rather than ruling from above it."
A more general philosophical
point brings us back to the considerations signalled in the introduction
to this paper about forms of governance. "Belatedly, the identification
of 'entrepreneurship' with 'heroic individualism', which has been very
pronounced in Anglo-American ideology, and perhaps nowhere more so than
in the literature on Silicon Valley, is gradually being superseded by
an emphasis upon collaboration within the firm, between firms and between
public and private agencies in the wider economy. In other words, the
most successful corporate and regional strategies are those which have
come to terms with the fact that innovation is best secured through what
one might call collective entrepreneurship: a networking strategy in which
the burden of innovation is spread across a wide social constitutency."
1. In the light particularly
of the government's commitment to a strategic economic development review
for Northern Ireland, a series of round-tables should be organised, drawing
together all the social partners and elected representatives, with representation
from all the socio-economic agencies and the academic world, to establish:
(a) a detailed picture of the
regional productive system
(b) a set of strategic goals
for Northern Ireland as a 'global region'
(b) the key problems and barriers
(c) the specific institutions
and networks required to tackle these obstacles.
2. The aim should be that this
Strategic Forum would not only generate the first strategic report since
Quigley in 1976 but would also, through spin-off working groups, begin
to translate concrete aspects into particular effect. Crucial would be
its ability (unfortunately not so far achieved by the Growth Challenge)
to secure a high public profile, including the attraction of submissions
and commissioned expertise, generating a real sense of momentum and achievement—a
'culture of commitment'—cementing relationships between the economic,
political and popular domains.
3. Action by government is
however crucial if this continuing economic dialogue is to be translated
into reality. This can be done in three ways through the establishment
of a regional development agency (see below), the revamping of the Northern
Ireland Economic Council or the establishment by government of a standing
Northern Ireland Economic and Social Forum. This would be crucial to offsetting
the danger of a hyper-politicisation of economic concerns, in the context
of a new political dispensation, were politicians to monopolise the discussion.
It could also provide a focus for establishing a commitment to a serious
attack on social exclusion.
4. If such a settlement does
obtain, the NIEC should be charged with orchestrating a new concord between
the social partners, in the manner secured by the NESC in the republic
in the late 80s, in the expectation that this would underpin new structures
of regional governance. These arrangements should cover a broad economic
and social agenda, so that the participants can see a broader public benefit
from the exercise of private restraint. In any event, the social partners
should encourage 'defensive solidarity bargaining'.
5. As to such structures of
governance themselves, they should clearly have legislative, not just
administrative, character; any new assembly should have decision-making,
not just advisory, power. They should also enjoy some scope for fiscal
manoeuvre, including tax-varying powers (as in Scotland). The goal should
be that they should have the optimum power to orchestrate a distinctive
6. In the context of a settlement,
a great premium will attach to political leadership if Northern Ireland
is to face the severe competitive challenges of the 21st century. Developing
the networks for problem-solving, building the social capital on which
progress depends, requires constant strategic direction and re-evaluation.
New arrangements therefore require a single executive, accountable to
the legislature, not just separate committee chairs. And the temptation
to construct a bureaucratic maze of institutions, to appease this or that
demand of this or that party, must be resisted in the name of transparency
and clarity of purpose.
7. Such leadership must however
be matched by collaboration. If trust is to be built in the socio-economic
domain, the political sphere must provide a model. It should therefore
be accepted as a fundamental principle of any governance arrangements
that, apart from any entrenched human rights provisions, one simple check
and balance (and one only) should apply. All decisions by the assembly
and executive should be capable of commanding a weighted majority, if
put to a vote, unless the relevant body decides otherwise by weighted
majority (to break a deadlock). This would establish a decision-making
norm of dialogue and deliberation, to which all participants could see
the only alternative was the collapse of government.
8. Consultation should also
be the watchword of any new arrangements. As Emilia-Romagna showed,
ensuring new institutions of regional governance are strategically driven
requires widespread consultation of local and interest-group opinion.
It should be required of committees of any new assembly that they should
approach their work in this participatory mode, inviting widespread submissions,
hearing witnesses, etc, before elaborating their own conclusions.
9. Government is embarking
on a review of institutional arrangements in the arena of economic development.
Business is already making clear this is putting the cart before the horse:
the institutions should flow from the strategy they are intended to implement.
The implications of this study are that what is crucial is not so much
the form of the institutions but the density of the networks in which
they interact—with each other, with firms, with university and research
institutes, and so on.
10. As to specific institutions,
the right balance needs to be struck between accountability and autonomy.
Economic development agencies should have clearly defined roles, according
to the strategic direction of a new assembly and executive, but within
those they should be enabled to work in a dynamic and innovative fashion.
11. The agencies' principal
role must move away from acting as subsidisers of individual firms' bottom
line towards above all acting as network brokers, identifying problems
and responding to them in an imaginative way, taking advantage of the
smallness of Northern Ireland to construct effective relationships. They
must engage in a continuing iterative process of re-evaluating their roles
and inter-relationships. They must anticipate an atmosphere of change
rather than a reassuring stability, an expectation of expanding possibilities
rather than merely executing a brief.
12. This also entails key requirements
in terms of the boards of the agencies and their staff. The former must
be as broadly based as possible, to generate creative mixes, but there
should be no suggestion of seats as of rights for time-servers from any
organisation (whether business, trade union or other). All should be appointed
through public advertisement and interview. The latter must operate according
to the most modern organisational practices, not conventional civil-service
hierarchies, and particularly at senior level appointments should be sought
from the widest range of sources. Reliance on the 'usual suspects' should
at all costs be avoided.
13. Transparency and accessibility
should also be key. How the agencies have identified problems, what they
are doing about them and how they intend to relate to firms in particular
sectors in the process need to be clearly established and amenable to
outside influence. Firms themselves need to develop much more organic
relationships. Chambers of commerce and trade can act outside government
as important brokers of collaborative relationships.
14. A further crucial factor
will be the ability of new regional governance structures and/or agencies
to operate on a global platform and according to global standards. They
must seek out networks and collaborative possibilities wherever possible,
refusing to be constrained by boundary definitions which have no business
relevance. They must certainly be able to 'punch their weight' on a European
15. In particular, the Irish
border must be redefined as a problem to be surmounted, not an obstacle
to be raised (or, for that matter, a fence to be smashed). The same principles—of
accountability, autonomy and accessibility—should apply to any agencies
established on a transfrontier as on an internal basis. Such new agencies
should have executive capacity within the finite array of competencies
which for geographical reasons are best executed on an island-wide basis,
or where (on a more narrowly cross-border basis) these are alternatively
required to counteract the divisive effects of partition on border areas.
16. Beyond that, aim should
be to secure policy co-ordination and network brokerage across an infinite
agenda, throwing up new institutions to solve problems as and when required.
Whether this thickening web or relationships ever issued into a united
Ireland could be left for future generations to decide. The big prize
would to build trust—social capital—to replace the years of enmity with
which partition has been associated.
An RDA for
There is a specific case, finally,
for a regional development agency for Northern Ireland, as the dynamo
and hub of new arrangements, the animateur of strategic activity,
based on a clear and coherent perspective.
The existing institutional
structure should be rethought in the light. Currently, the IDB, LEDU,
TEA and IRTU fall between two institutional stools: they are too fragmented
to think strategically, but they are too generalist to provide the specific
services particular firms and sectors require—and that is apart from what
seems from their published reports to be non-existent interrelationships.
Contrast the structure in Emilia-Romagna, with the single regional
development agency on the one hand and the 11 service centres on the other,
the latter tailored to addressing identified needs and involving business
The Emilian experience also
underscores the need, before a regional development strategy is initiated,
first to identify the regional productive system. The 'Competitiveness
in the 1990s' strategy and its quinquennial review fail to transcend thinking
based abstractly on the individual firm: there is actually very little
concrete that indicates it is a strategy for Northern Ireland rather
than A N Other region. The role of networks and their public brokers,
the contribution of the social partners, the challenge of generating 'institutional
thickness'—indeed all the themes in this paper—are notable by their absence.
As ERVET leads the way in Emilia-Romagna,
Halkier and Danson have argued more generally: "One of the most conspicuous
developments in the field of regional policy over the last two decades
has been the rise of 'bottom-up' initiatives conducted from within the
regions, and an important part in this process has been played by semi-autonomous
public bodies, the so-called regional development agencies (RDAs)."
They have identified three
features of a 'model RDA':
• an 'arms-length' relationship
with the sponsoring political authority;
• a strategic focus
on supporting mainly indigenous firms, using 'soft' policy instruments;
• integrated implementation
of the strategy, drawing upon a broad range of policy instruments.
The first of these entails
that the role of the sponsoring authority is confined to broad policy
guidelines and resource allocation, leaving the strategic initiative and
discretionary powers with the agency. Political interference has had a
damaging impact on performance of RDAs in Greece, and the need
is for the degree of autonomy to think long-term and developmentally.
More than 80 per cent of a
sample of RDAs surveyed by Halkier and Danson had semi-autonomous status.
More than 80 per cent also relied for finance on the sponsoring authority.
The most common institutional form is a non-profit foundation, a joint-stock
company or a public limited-liability company. Government finance often
takes the form of a shareholding, but there is a trend towards increased
financial independence, based in revenue for services.
A notable trend is that more
recently established RDAs are less likely to replicate the traditional
focus of central government in seeking primarily to attract investment
from outside the region (the 'regions as containers' approach) and more
likely to elaborate new programmes prioritising 'soft' instruments geared
to the growth and competitiveness of indigenous firms. A parallel shift
is from reliance on segregated instruments to integration of programmes.
Thus traditional agencies focus
on offering advice in terms of investment attraction and access to grants;
infrastructurally they provide advance factories. The new agencies focus
on advice on general management, markets and production/technology; infrastructurally
they look to science parks, training and so on. In terms of finance, they
tend to utilise equity or loans.
Controlling ownership of individual
firms creates a conflict with the strategic task of the agency. But a
major weakness in Northern Ireland is the absence of a regional industrial
bank, such as are found in Germany, which could follow the lead by an
RDA in injecting substantial equity or other finance into firms with a
long-term commitment and a gentle payback slope. This highlights how there
is no panacea for Northern Ireland's economic challenges. No one agency,
however well constituted and led, can do it alone.
The Halkier/Danson sample was
divided between one half comprising agencies which met these three model
criteria and the other half which "diverges from the prescriptions
of the RDA approach, mainly because they do concentrate on a limited number
of often rather traditional policy programmes and hence do not have the
capacity for developing an integrated approach with an indigenous strategic
Because network brokerage is
at the heart of regional development, the individuals involved must have
appropriate capacities. They can not be of a 'civil service' mind: "Generally
speaking, those who are active in regional development must be dynamic,
strongly motivated people who are also good communicators."
How 'arms-length' the appointments
are varies: in some cases other public or private organisations in addition
to government make appointments. Businesspeople are usually represented
on the RDA board (indeed enterprises often are shareholders). Other key
actors are research and training institutes. And 'environmental and equity
objectives' require broad participation of trade unions and other NGOs
in defining an RDA's function and on its board.
What is the mission of an RDA?
"The objective being to mobilise a specific potential rather
than to impose a generally applicable model for regional development,
RDA structure and activities must be a response to specific local conditions,
focusing limited resources on the most promising activities, and adapting
to changes in those conditions. The overall objective is to strengthen
or create networks—among enterprises owned by local businessmen
and external investors, among enterprises and other actors in the region,
such as research institutes. The objective, in short, is to promote regional
self-organisation through networking."
The key tasks of an RDA include
to develop a regional economic strategy, "by monitoring regional
and external (national/international) developments, assessing their possible
effects on the region and mobilising entrepreneurs and other relevant
actors (universities, R&D establishments, trade unions) for a response
on the basis of regionally available resources. This should be a continuous
Other tasks are:
identifying regional investment
resources and providing investment support (such as through a revolving
fund), including venture capital through the local banking system;
- attracting inward investment,
but with a view to maximising linkages with the regional economy;
- elaborating thematic projects,
eg promoting international sub-contracting;
- promoting environmentally
training programmes focused on regional skill needs;
- helping ensure the availability
of an adequate industrial infrastructure; and
- providing a one-stop information
service to entrepreneurs.
To accomplish such tasks, RDA
staff must be highly competent in development issues—not generic public
servants—and must have an 'enterprising attitude'.
The implications of all this
for Northern Ireland are:
(i) that a Regional Development
Agency should be established, particularly were there to be a new regional
assembly, so that one body is charged with elaborating and sustaining
an effective regional development strategy;
(ii) its guidelines and budget
should be a task of such an assembly, but otherwise the agency should
exercise wide discretion;
(iii) the agency should have
the capacity to establish a range of industrially sensitive service centres
as it felt appropriate;
(iv) a key focus of the agency's
work should be the establishment and strengthening of networks involving
firms, associations and other agencies;
(v) the agency should have
a board with a maximum 15 members with appropriate capacities, including
representation from business, specific institutes, trade unions and the
voluntary sector, and ensuring some geographical diversity; and
(vi) the staff should not be
moved around from within the civil service but should be newly appointed
with the necessary specific skills and aptitudes.
Crucially, the future of the
existing DED agencies should be reviewed in the light of this new approach.
- Paul Hirst, From
Statism to Pluralism: Democracy, Civil Society and Global Politics,
UCL Press, London, 1997, p101
- Kevin Morgan,
'Innovating by networking: new models of corporate and regional development",
in Mick Dunford and Grigoris Kafkalas eds, Cities and Regions in
the New Europe, Belhaven Press, London, 1992, p151
- Commission of
the European Communities, 'Competitiveness and cohesion: trends in the
regions', Fifth Periodic Report on the Social and Economic Situation
and Development of the Regions in the Community, Luxembourg, 1994
- Roland Gustafsson,
'Competitiveness, innovation and technical change from a Nordic perspective',
in Alden and Boland eds, Regional Development Strategies, Jessica
Kingsley/Regional Studies Association, London, 1996, pp 218-9
- A Gough, 'Northern
Ireland civil expenditure on research and development', Economic
Outlook and Business Review, vol 11, no 4, December 1996, pp 13-14
- Hannu Tervo, 'European
integration and development of the Finnish regions', in Alden and Boland
eds, op cit, p235
- David Marquand,
The New Reckoning: Capitalism, States and Citizens, Polity Press,
Cambridge, 1997, p27
- ibid, p28
- Paul Hirst, op
- Michael Dunford
and Ray Hudson, 'Decentralised models of governance and economic development:
lessons from Europe', in Northern Ireland Economic Council, Decentralised
Government and Economic Performance in Northern Ireland, occasional
paper 7, NIEC, Belfast, 1996, p199
- ibid, pp 205-6
- Department of
Environment, Transport and the Regions, Building Partnerships for
Prosperity: Sustainable Growth, Competitiveness and Employment in the
English Regions, Cm 3814, 1997 (While Northern Ireland is referred
to once or twice in the white paper on RDAs, there is an embarrassing
reference to the Northern Ireland Development Agency—evidently mindless
of the fact that no such body has existed for 16 years.)
- The current arrangements
for economic development in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the
English regions are clearly set out in Confederation of British Industry,
Regions for Business: Improving Policy Design and Delivery, London,
1997, pp 13-14
- United Nations
International Development Organisation, Regional Industrial Development
Agencies, Vienna, 1997
- Udo Bullman, 'The
politics of the third level', Regional and Federal Studies, vol
6, no 2, 1996, pp 4-10
- P Lloyd and R
Meegan, 'Contested governance: European exposure in the English regions',
in Alden and Boland eds, op cit, p62 (emphasis in original)
- Marquand, op cit,
- Shari O Garmise,
'Economic development strategies in Emilia-Romagna', in Martin Rhodes
ed, The Regions in the New Europe, Manchester University Press,
- R Leonardi and
R Nanetti, The Regions and European Integration: The Case of Emilia-Romagna,
Pinter, London/New York, 1990, p14
- ibid, p21
- Garmise, op cit,
- ibid, p158
- P Cooke, A Price
and K Morgan, 'Regulating regional economies: Wales and Baden-Württemberg
in transition', in Rhodes, op cit, 1995
- ibid, p129
- A Amin and D Thomas,
'The negotiated economy: state and civic institutions in Denmark', paper
delivered at COST A7 workshop, National Economic and Social Governance
and European Integration, Dublin, May 1996, p13
- Rory O'Donnell
and Colm O'Reardon, 'Ireland's experiment in social partnership, 1987-96',
paper delivered at COST A7 workshop, Dublin, 1996, p2
- T J Baker, D Duffy,
F Shortall, Quarterly Economic Commentary, Economic and Social
Research Institute, Dublin, December 1997, p5
- O'Donnell and
O'Reardon, op cit, p2
- ibid, pp 2-3
- ibid, pp 14-15
- DETR, op cit,
- Will Hutton, The
State We're In, Jonathan Cape, London, 1995, p269
- Michael Best,
Competitive Dunamics and Industrial Modernisation Programmes: Lessons
from Japan and America, Northern Ireland Economic Council report
115, Belfast, 1995, pp 20-1
- Hirst, op cit,
- Best, op cit,
pp 14 & 22
- ibid, p20
- Heigi Wiig and
Michelle Wood, 'What comprises a regional innovation system? theoretical
base and indicators', in James Simmie ed, Innovation, Networks and
Learning Regions?, Jessica Kingsley/Regional Studies Association,
London, 1997, pp 66-7
- Marquand, op cit,
- Robert Huggins,
'Competitiveness and the global region: the role of networking', in
- Hirst, op cit,
- Philip Cooke and
Kevin Morgan, 'Growth regions under duress: renewal strategies in Baden
Württemberg and Emilia-Romagna', in Ash Amin and Nigel Thrift eds,
Globalization, Institutions and Regional Development in Europe,
Oxford University Press, 1994, pp 109-10
- Garmise, op cit,
- ibid, p151, 153
- Huggins, op cit,
- Cooke and Morgan,
op cit, pp 99-100
- Morgan, op cit.
- Hutton, op cit,
- Best, op cit,
- ibid, pp 25-7
- Amin and Thomas,
op cit, p16
- Philip Cooke,
'European experiences of regional economic development', in Andy Roberts
ed, Power to the People? Economic Self-determination and the Regions,
European Dialogue/Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, London, 1993, p12
- Best, op cit,
- 'Proposition on
Heads of Agreement', Northern Ireland Office, Belfast, January 12th
- Franz Tödtling,
'The uneven landscape of innovation poles: local embeddedness and global
networks', in Ash Amin and Nigel Thrift eds, Globalisation, Institutions
and Regional Development in Europe, Oxford University Press, 1994
- Huggins, op cit,
- Paul Hirst, op
- Cooke, op cit,
- Huggins, op cit,
- P Cooke, A Price
and K Morgan, op cit, p114
- ibid, p115
- Dunford and Hudson,
Successful European Regions: Northern Ireland Learning from Others,
NIEC research monograph 3, Belfast, 1996, p187
- Paul Teague and
Robin Wilson, 'Towards an inclusive society', in Teague and Wilson eds,
Social Exclusion, Social Inclusion, Democratic Dialogue report
2, Belfast, 1995, p79
- Ulrich Beck, Risk
Society: Towards a New Modernity, Sage, London, 1992
- Northern Ireland
Economic Council, The 1997 UK Budget: Implications for Northern Ireland,
- J Clasen, A Gould
and J Vincent, Long-term Unemployment and the Threat of Social Exclusion:
A Cross-national Analysis of the Position of Long-Term Unemployed People
in Germany, Sweden and Britain, The Policy Press/Joseph Rowntree
Foundation, Bristol, 1997, pp 6-12
- ibid, p37
- Rodgers, 'The
design of policy against exclusion', in G Rodgers, C Gore and J B Figueiredo
eds, Social Exclusion: Rhetoric, Reality, Responses, International
Labour Organisation, Geneva, 1995, p258
- See the contributions
by David Reynolds and Roger Goodman to Demos Quarterly, issue
- Memo by BIFHE
director, submitted to Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, published
in the committee's second report, Underachievement in Northern Ireland
Secondary Schools, Stationery Office, London, 1997, p146
- ibid, p ix—admittedly,
Japan's suicide rate amongst young people is no great advertisement
in this regard
- ibid, p xii
- Memo by Tony Gallagher,
submitted to Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, op cit, p41
- T Gallagher, I
Shuttleworth and C Gray, Educational Achievement in Northern Ireland:
Patterns and Prospects, Northern Ireland Economic Council research
monograph 4, 1997, p12
- ibid, p10
- Perri 6, Holistic
Government, Demos paper 30, London, 1997
- Teague and Wilson,
op cit, p87
- ibid, p84
- Paul Gorecki,
figures presented to an Irish Congress of Trades Unions seminar, Armagh,
- Wendy Carlin,
West German Growth and Institutions, 1945-90, Discussion Paper
no 84, Centre for Economic Policy Research, London, 1994, pp 36-7
- Kevin Morgan,
op cit, p72
- Robert Putnam,
Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy, Princeton
University Press, 1993, p164
- ibid, p115
- Perri 6, op cit,
- Cooke, op cit,
- Cooke, Price and
Morgan, op cit, p131
- Amin and Thomas,
op cit (their emphasis), p18
- ibid , pp 3-4
- Robin Wilson,
'Political slow learners are reflected clearly in Ireland's tale of
two logos', Irish Times, November 20th, 1997
- Sabine Weyand,
'Inter-regional associations and the European integration process',
Regional and Federal Studies, vol 6, no 2, summer 1996, pp 168,
- ibid, p175
- ibid, p180
- O'Neill, op cit,
- Ash Amin and Nigel
Thrift, 'Living in the global', in Amin and Thrift eds, op cit, p11
- ibid, p14
- ibid, p15
- Amin and Thrift,
'Holding down the global', in ibid, p260
- Michael Dunford
and Ray Hudson, Successful European Regions: Northern Ireland Learning
from Others, Northern Ireland Economic Council, Belfast, 1996, 186-98
- ibid, pp xxviii-ix
- Udo Bullman, 'The
politics of the third level', Regional and Federal Studies, vol
6, no 2, 1996, p18
- Leonardi and Nanetti,
op cit, pp 125-6
- Hutton, op cit,
- ibid, p265
- Morgan, op cit,
- Garmise, op cit,
- Department of
Economic Development, Growing Competitively: A Review of Economic
Development Policy in Northern Ireland, Belfast, 1995
- Henriek Halkier
and Mike Danson, Regional Development Agencies in Western Europe:
A Survey of Key Characteristics and Trends, occasional paper 15,
European Research Unit, Aalborg University, Denmark, 1996
- UNIDO, op cit,
- Halkier and Danson,
- UNIDO, op cit,
- Halkier and Danson,
- UNIDO, op cit,
- ibid, pp 13-14
- ibid, p14
- ibid, p15
- ibid, p15
- ibid, p17
by CBI Northern Ireland March 1998