Territorial Development and Action Research examines the role of action research within fields such as territorial development and innovation. Most researchers analyse these fields from the outside, developing a theoretical understanding of what should be done, but not of how to do it. Based on their own experience of territorial development processes from the inside out, James Karlsen and Miren Larrea argue that filling the gap regarding social relations in the innovation process makes it possible for researchers to engage in the processes taking place in the territory, thereby revealing how to make things work. This book will help researchers face the pressure to engage and play a useful role in the development of their host regions. It will help policy makers to continuously learn and redefine policy approaches and bring about collaboration through networks, programs and projects where researchers and practitioners in regional, local and urban development work together to construct territorial development. Readers will acquire a better understanding of micro-territorial development processes and the roles played by individuals and coalitions in endogenous development processes.
James Karlsen (PhD Norwegian University of Science and Technology) has worked with territorial development processes as a policy maker and a researcher at national and local level in Norway and the Basque Country of Spain. He is now an Associate Professor at University of Agder. Karlsen is widely published on topics such as regional innovation systems, action research, networks, the role of universities in regional development, and how regions can construct territorial development. Miren Larrea (PhD University of Deusto) began as research assistant at the University of Deusto, and after a decade dedicated to teaching and research, she became a practitioner in a local development agency. Larrea is now Senior Researcher at Orkestra, the Basque Institute for Competitiveness. She has published widely on networks for territorial development, local development agencies, governance, and action research as a strategy for connecting research and policy.
’The book bridges the gap between analytical theories of territorial (regional) development and practical change and development activity. This process presupposes that problem owners participate and become vital in the knowledge generating process. Action research is proposed as the research strategy that facilitates this inside out knowledge generation process.’ Professor Morten Levin, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway ’This book is essential reading for all researchers looking to play active roles as agents for change in territorial development. Its reading is an enriching and rewarding experience that easily connects with our worries and doubts and stimulates our reflection and action. The new concepts and frameworks presented will support action research work in future.’ MarÃa Ãngeles DÃez, Lecturer in Regional Economy and Evaluation, Universidad del Pais Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, Spain ’This book is a novel and innovative contribution to action research and work organisation studies. It is important both for its academic quality and for its practical relevance.’ BjÃ¶rn Asheim, Lund University, Sweden ’This exquisitely written book explores the possibilities that action research offers those who desire to engage a broad stakeholder base in the complex task of social and economic development within any particular geo-political territory. While the cases explored are taken primarily from the Basque Country in Spain, the writers exhibit global frames of reference that enable the reader to identify with the complex political realities articulated through these cases. ... This is a book that contributes a rare form of wisdom to the debate on territorial development.’ International Journal of Action Research