Chapter 3: The analysis and representation of local territorial networks in building public–private partnerships
This chapter discusses the use of network representations and network analysis in research projects intended to support the creation of public–private partnerships. The considerations presented here originated mainly from in-the-field experience by the authors, and are intended to discuss the effectiveness of including such tools in projects that have a strong practical orientation and specific objectives. As will be discussed, the interest in studying relational aspects is not only due to the interest in how organizations work, but is also considerably related with how the network tools are potentially able to take into account the geographical aspects of how organizations work. Thus our discussion starts from considering networks as a methodology that helps us to consider geographical and organizational aspects of processes involving multiple actors and their complex relationships. Then we present examples of projects in which policies and organizations at the regional and the local level have been studied using network analysis and network representations. In each case we will discuss how the network approach has been useful, and what limitations we encountered. This chapter needs some important premises. First, it is not our aim (and there is not enough available space) to review or summarize the scientific debate on this subject. Second, the cases we are presenting here are drawn from actual projects carried on during in-the-Field activity of supporting policy-making or during projects specifically oriented to the creation of public–private partnerships.
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