This introductory chapter provides an overview of the economic crisis that hit European regions from 2007 and which took hold in 2008_09. It introduces the concept of regional economic resilience and outlines the key approach to measuring and assessing regional economic resilience which was developed for this research. This chapter concludes by providing an outline of the organisation and structure of the book, and a summary of its key themes.
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Gillian Bristow and Adrian Healy
Lasse Gerrits and Stefan Verweij
We argue that infrastructure projects are complex and that evaluations of such projects need to do justice to that complexity. The three principal aspects discussed here are heterogeneity, uniqueness, and context. Evaluations that are serious about incorporating the complexity of projects need to address these aspects. Often, evaluations rely on single case studies. Such studies are useful because they allow researchers to focus on the heterogeneous, unique, and contextual nature of projects. However, their relevance for explaining other (future) projects is limited. Larger-n studies allow for the comparison of cases, but they come with the important downside that their relevance for explaining single projects is limited because they cannot incorporate heterogeneity, uniqueness, and context sufficiently. The method Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) presents a promising solution to this conundrum. This book offers a guide to using QCA when evaluating infrastructure projects.