Complex Adaptive Innovation Systems: Relatedness and Transversality in the Evolving Region, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Complex Adaptive Innovation Systems

Relatedness and Transversality in the Evolving Region, 1st Edition

By Philip Cooke


256 pages | 42 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138792135
pub: 2014-07-17
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Leading up to the financial crisis of 2008 and onwards, the shortcomings of traditional models of regional economic and environmental development had become increasingly evident. Rooted in the idea that ‘policy’ is an encumbrance to free markets, the stress on supply-side smoothing measures such as clusters and an over reliance on venture capital, the inadequacy of existing orthodoxies has come to be replaced by the notion of transversality.

This approach has three strong characteristics that differentiate it from its failing predecessor. First, as the name implies, it seeks to finesse horizontal knowledge interactions as well as vertical ones, thus building ‘platforms’ of industrial interaction. Secondly, it is not a supply, but a demand side model in which needs-driven innovation rather than pure market competition prevails. Finally, it is ongoing through recessionary times, being more robust than over-specialized approaches to economic growth.

The intellectual origins of transversality lie in an aspiration to promote eco-innovation, one of the key hopes of assisting Western regional and national economies to re-balance and escape recession. The policy models of key regional exponents of the concept are explored and their goals achievement is assessed. An array of policy instruments and measures is presented for hands-on policy implementation. The book will be of vital interest to academics as teachers and researchers as well as policy advisers and public servants.


"The book is a must-read for anybody scientifically interested in innovation and complexity theory. It is very inspiring and also challenging in various aspects… The author digests and discusses an impressive amount of literature. As a much-appreciated feature, which makes the book more than a piece of solid theorising, the reader gets acquainted with numerous empirical cases and studies showing that the author is personally highly engaged in eco-innovation issues and is a true expert in the whole regional innovation field." - Petra Ahrweiler, University College Dublin; JASSS (2012)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Co-evolution, Complexity and Emergence in Regional Innovation Systems 2. What Went Wrong with the Vertical Process and Policy Perspective? 3.What is Transversality? 4. The Co-evoluttionary Origins of Transversatlity 5. Transversality and Transition in Innovation and Eco-Innovation: Towards Complex Adaptive Systems Analysis 6. Transition Regions and Eco-innovations: Studies in Complexity 7. Resilience, Relatedness & Complexity Geography: Strange Attractors in Regional Innovation 8. Complexity, Relatedness and Transverslity: Empirical Evidence of Regional Innovation Platform Policies 9. Complexity, Variety and the Emergent Properties of Regional Innovation Strategy

About the Author

Philip Cooke is Director and Research Professor in Regional Development at the Centre for Advanced Studies, Cardiff University, UK.

About the Series

Regions and Cities

In today’s globalised, knowledge-driven and networked world, regions and cities have assumed heightened significance as the interconnected nodes of economic, social and cultural production, and as sites of new modes of economic governance and policy experimentation. This book series brings together incisive and critically engaged international and interdisciplinary research on this resurgence of regions and cities, and should be of interest to geographers, economists, sociologists, political scientists and cultural scholars, as well as to policy-makers involved in regional and urban development.

If you would like to discuss a potential new book for the series, please contact:

Joan Fitzgerald – [email protected] – Series Editor-in-Chief, or

Natalie Tomlinson – [email protected] – Routledge Commissioning Editor

For more information on the Regional Studies Association, visit


Did you know that as a Regional Studies Association member you’re entitled to a 30% discount on all Routledge books? To order, simply email Luke McNicholas ([email protected]), or phone on +44 (0) 20 701 77545 and declare your RSA membership.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Business Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development