1st Edition

The Politics of Local Innovation Conditions for the Development of Innovations

    238 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    238 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Some cities manage to mobilize innovation potentials and respond to challenges, such as demographic change and immigration as well as economic restructuring, while others do not. This book solves this problem by answering the following question: what are the conditions for the development of local innovation?

    In order to identify these conditions, the book explores case study cities which are perceived as success cases of local innovation by the respective local community, and sometimes also nationally or internationally. The conditions for local innovations are not sought primarily in economic, social, or institutional circumstances. Instead, this book focuses on the communicative interactions by which local actors develop locally embedded knowledge or a specific social imaginary about those circumstances, as well as the constraints and opportunities deriving from them. The authors focus on a comparative case study of ten cities—Bensheim, Frankfurt, Kassel, Leipzig, and Offenbach in Germany, and Athens, Chania, Elefsina, Kalamata, and Thessaloniki in Greece. The book is based on content analysis of policy documents and local newspapers as well as in-depth interviews with key local actors.

    This book will be of interest to scholars and students of political science and policy analysis, as well as sociology, geography, urban studies, and planning. It will also interest local politicians and bureaucrats concerned with achieving innovation in cities.

    1. Introduction: About the Origin of Local Innovations

    Hubert Heinelt, Björn Egner and Nikolaos-Komninos Hlepas

    2. Why Are Some Cities More Innovative Than Others? An Answer Based on an Interpretive Concept

    Hubert Heinelt and Georgios Terizakis

    3. Athens

    Nikolaos-Komninos Hlepas

    4. Bensheim

    Hubert Heinelt

    5. Chania

    Hubert Heinelt and Panos Koliastasis

    6. Elefsina

    Panos Koliastasis

    7. Frankfurt

    Hubert Heinelt and Max A. Kayser

    8. Kalamata

    Alexia Timotheou

    9. Kassel

    Melina Lehning

    10. Leipzig

    Hubert Heinelt and Max A. Kayser

    11. Offenbach

    Max A. Kayser

    12. Thessaloniki

    Nikolaos-Komninos Hlepas

    13. A Comparative Analysis of Communicative Mechanisms and Narratives Supporting Innovations

    Björn Egner, Hubert Heinelt, Nikolaos-Komninos Hlepas, Panos Koliastasis, Melina Lehning and Alexia Timotheou


    Hubert Heinelt is Professor in the Institute of Political Science at Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany, and Advisory Professor at Tongji University in Shanghai, China.

    Björn Egner is Adjunct Professor in the Institute of Political Science at Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany.

    Nikolaos-Komninos Hlepas is Professor in the Faculty of Political Science and Public Administration at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece.