Reviving the Region. Endogenous Development in European Rural Regions, 1975-Present

Bart Hoogeboom

Research output: PhD ThesisPhD thesis


Regional industrialization policies, introduced during the post-war decades, were increasingly criticized by the 1970s.
Subsidies aimed at stimulating private investment in disadvantaged regions became less effective due to economic stagnation.
In addition, vulnerable regions were increasingly dependent on outside impulses. New policy ideas emphasizing endogenous
development were introduced by scholars, politicians and policymakers in the late 1970s. This new approach implied that regional
policymakers were increasingly in the lead, having to mobilize community support and propose measures in line with the development
potential of their region. This dissertation consists of a comparative historical and institutional analysis of endogenous development policies
in three rural regions: Noordoost-Fryslân (Netherlands), Meetjesland (Belgium) and the Waldviertel (Austria). The cases are related to three
variables, 'governance structure', 'policy traditions' and 'characteristics of place' and the ways these interact to produce distinctive forms of
regional policy. The author finds ‘critical junctures’ in regional policy change and relates them to the variables. The most important conclusion
is that policy traditions, the shared understanding of policy actors on the goals and means of regional policy, have had the most significant
impact on policy change. A poorly developed policy tradition in the Waldviertel aided a swift and forceful introduction of endogenous
development policies. A strong policy tradition acted as a barrier for change in Noordoost-Fryslân, but in the end endogenous development
policies were better embedded compared to the Waldviertel. In Meetjesland collaboration within the region and with higher-level governments
was frustrated by a lack of shared ideas on regional policy.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
  • Molema, Marijn, Co-promotor
Award date27 Aug 2020
Place of PublicationGroningen
Print ISBNs9789403425047
Electronic ISBNs9789403425030
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2020


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