Barriers to credible innovations: Collaborative regional governance in the Netherlands

Tamara Metze, M. Levelt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


More than ever before, Dutch city-regions have to prove the credibility of their innovative ways of collaborating. In times of economic crisis, political distrust and intensified competition about building houses, regional governance is under pressure. Innovative policies are often the very reason for the existence of these networked forms of regional collaboration. This might be increasingly important when its credibility is debated and more institutionalized forms of governing, such as decision making by individual communities and provinces, wait to take over. In this contribution, the question is raised how and why regional collaboration is continued when formal tasks are no longer granted to regional bodies and the economic crisis creates a win-lose situation for the participants. How does collaborative regional governance stay credible to participants and is its innovative power still one of the reasons?

In four Dutch cases of regional governance we studied at which moments internal and external barriers to the credibility of regional collaboration were raised. Each case illustrates how a barrier to credible collaborative innovation was overcome. We studied internal conflicts of interests in the City-region of Arnhem Nijmegen, a province that threatens to take over decision making in the City Triangle, resistance to institutionalization of regional collaboration in the Drecht cities, and political risk avoidance in the City-region of Amsterdam. In each case, innovative collaboration barely survived. It turned out to be the sum of local interests rather than the implementation of an innovative regional vision.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8
Number of pages15
JournalThe innovation journal. The public sector innovation journal.
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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