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Title: Concurrent power : the role of policy networks in the multi-level governance of science and innovation in Scotland
Author: Lyall, Catherine
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis examines the operation and evolution of the new system of governance for science, technology and innovation (STI) in Scotland following devolution. One of the founding aspirations of the Scottish Parliament was to develop a policy-making process that fostered a move away from a narrow conception of top-down government towards a more inclusive notion of associative governance. At the same time, the Parliament inherited a suite of existing UK policies for STI as well as a distinctive Scottish trajectory in regional innovation and economic development. In order for a small country to benefit fully from its investments in STI, it might seek to adopt an integrated research and innovation strategy. However, the Scottish situation is particularly complicated: with certain aspects devolved and others reserved, science and to a significant extent innovation, are “concurrent powers”. This thesis investigates how the science base and technology-based firms engage with the Scottish system of governance and, more specifically, how devolution has affected their role in the policy-making process. This empirical study adopts the “multi-level governance” model to investigate the complex assemblage of actors operating within and between the multiple levels of governance for STI and uses a policy network approach as a tool to analyse the nature of these relationships through interviews with policy targets (universities, research institutes and SMEs) and policy-makers in the Scottish life sciences sector. By focusing on policy learning, the research examines the extent to which actors within a regional system of innovation can actually shape the policy domain. Despite apparently having all of the necessary precursors to facilitate a network-based regional polity for STI, Scotland is still failing adequately to co-ordinate its policies or foster cohesive policy networks: while inter-personal networking occurs, this has not so far led to inter-organisational policy networks. The predominance of the public sector and the gate-keeping roles therein present significant barriers and militate against an integrated, participative policy environment. This Scottish case study thus provides evidence of broader relevance to policy debates on the regionalisation of research and innovation policy within Europe and, through its synthesis of conceptual frameworks from innovation studies, regional science and political science, demonstrates why an interdisciplinary approach is often necessary in order to engage effectively in policy-related research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available