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Adrian Healy

There is now much emphasis on evidence-based policymaking. However, rather less consideration is given to the origin of that evidence. Common sources can be found in academic research, in consultancy work and through the activities of think tanks and pressure groups. Each has their own objectives, strengths and potential weaknesses. For many the ‘gold-standard’ of evidence is that of academic research. However, with pressure on academics to engage more fully with policymakers to achieve ‘impact’, this raises questions about the impartiality of academic evidence. This chapter will consider the changing landscape for evidence-based policy and its implications.

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Adrian Healy

This chapter explores the effects of the 2008_09 crisis on South West Ireland. The analysis shows that the region was hit hard but fared relatively better than many other parts of Ireland. The analysis shows that underpinning the relative resilience of South West Ireland is the city of Cork. Here locational advantages, combined with the value of a vibrant urban centre, export-oriented firms and a strong base of universities and research institutes linked to the local economy, served to provide a strong foundation for economic resilience relative to the Irish economy as a whole. The region has also benefited from national policies seeking to promote the economic growth of the Irish economy.

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Gillian Bristow and Adrian Healy

Interest in the notion of economic resilience has prompted a rich and developing set of conceptual, empirical and policy debates in recent years. As the concept matures, significant points of dissonance and debate can be found across the sub-discipline providing fertile ground for further methodological and conceptual development. This chapter provides an introduction to this Handbook which is intended to synthesise some key elements of this debate by drawing together critical insights from leading writers in the field to examine what is known, what is contested and where the critical avenues are for future exploration.

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Gillian Bristow and Adrian Healy

This chapter argues that in the nascent theorising and empirical study of regional economic resilience, the role of human agency has been under explored to date. In seeking to address this gap, the chapter focuses on three key questions: why agency is important in resilience; how agents are organised in complex, regional economies and how they might act; and finally, what an agency perspective means for how resilience might be conceptualised and analysed empirically. The chapter argues that including the human factor in resilience thinking ultimately means that the role of place and context must assume greater significance.

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Adrian Healy and Gillian Bristow

Drawing on the experience of a number of EU Member States in implementing Structural Fund programmes during the 2008/09 financial crisis, this chapter explores the role that external interventions can play in promoting resilience and considers whether they are able to provide an additional buffering mechanism in times of crisis. This gives rise to a number of questions regarding as how such policies are governed, the role played by different actors at different levels of government and the ability of regions affected by shocks to make use of such support in times of crisis.

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Gillian Bristow and Adrian Healy

This chapter seeks to synthesise and reflect on the key themes emerging from the Handbook on Regional Economic Resilience, focusing on identifying the developing understanding of the concept and some of the key questions and challenges which still shape its impact and use. It considers the state of knowledge to date and identifies key areas for further research.

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Edited by Gillian Bristow and Adrian Healy

This Handbook provides a collection of high quality contributions on the state of the art in current debates around the concept of regional economic resilience. It provides critical contributions from leading authors in the field, and captures both key theoretical debates around the meaning of resilience, its conceptual framing and utility, as well as empirical interrogation of its key determinants in different international contexts.
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Gillian Bristow and Adrian Healy

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

The purpose of this concluding chapter is to draw together the key themes from the rich comparative analysis reported in this book, and to consider the wider implications for policy efforts to develop regional economic resilience. It highlights that a number of factors are positively associated with more resilient regions. These include more diverse, export-oriented economies with the presence of international companies. The experience of the crisis highlights the resilience risks of dependency on particular firms, sectors, markets and public-sector transfers. It also emphasises the dangers of making simplistic assumptions about the importance of particular factors to resilience outcomes. The different experiences of the crisis from the different European regions reported in this volume clearly highlight the important mediating role that is played by place-based characteristics.