The Social Sciences

Year: 2019
Volume: 14
Issue: 9
Page No. 326 - 334

How to Think about Regional Development Agencies as a Sociologist

Authors : Borut Roncevic and Tamara Besednjak Valic

Abstract: Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) have the paramount role in development and implementation of regional development strategies. Due to the European Union principle of subsidiarity they are firmly embedded in multi-level strategic processes. However, although strategic processes are social processes, RDAs have rarely been the subject of sociological research. In this study, we conceptualize RDAs as social actors operating at the two intersections, first of global (mega)-trends and local micro-contexts and second as the intermediary between stakeholders in the regional innovation system. RDAs as social actors are agents of path-shaping. As they are operating in conditions of high complexity and can only make ‘choice within constraints’ they can perform this role only indirectly. They do it firstly, by employing reflexive and careful contextual intervention in institutions, social networks and cognitive frames to shape choices and constraints of other actors and secondly, by engaging and moderating strategic discourse.

How to cite this article:

Borut Roncevic and Tamara Besednjak Valic, 2019. How to Think about Regional Development Agencies as a Sociologist. The Social Sciences, 14: 326-334.

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