Knowledge, Policymaking and Learning for European Cities and Regions
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Knowledge, Policymaking and Learning for European Cities and Regions

From Research to Practice

Edited by Nicola F. Dotti

This book provides theories, experiences, reflections and future directions for social scientists who wish to engage with policy-oriented research in cities and regions. The ‘policy learning’ perspective is comprehensively discussed, focusing on actors promoting ‘policy knowledge’ and interaction among different stakeholders. The book also aims to provide practical insights for policy-makers and practitioners interested in research-based approaches to cities and regions.
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Chapter 4: Learning across cities and regions: the limits to transferring “best practice”

Dominic Stead and Dorina Pojani


Despite the many efforts devoted to identifying and disseminating “best practice” in urban and regional policy, research suggests only a very modest impact (at the most) of best practices on policy change. Moreover, the effects of spreading lessons and “best practice” are not well understood by many actors involved in the processes of policymaking. The chapter recommends that it is generally more appropriate to offer a compendium of practices and ideas to policymakers, rather than predefined policy solutions, and allow them to determine for themselves the most suitable option based on the specific context in which it is to be used. This chapter is a shortened and updated version of an article published in Planning Practice and Research, 27 (1).

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