Title: Policy Networks and the Regional Development Strategies in Poland. Comparative case studies from three regions.
Authors: Kasza, Artur; S0052817
Issue Date: 11-May-2009
Abstract: The doctoral dissertation focuses on the principle partnership, implemen ted in the framework of the regional development policy In Poland. The p artnership, one of the key principles of the EU regional policy, is conc eptualised as a policy network, understood as stable patterns of interac tion among public and non-public actors forming around policies and prog rammes. Such partnership should lead to a high level of coordination and complementarily of the policy activities as well as to strengthening tr usts among political and social actors. The hypothesis formulated for th e research is that the policy networks do not exist or emerge with diffi culty in the Polish regional policy. The reason for this is that there i s limited public sphere and a weak predisposition for cooperation among the various social actors. That weakness of the public sphere is the mai n legacy of the socialist period and of the more remote history of Polan d. The research project has applied the qualitative methodology. It has use d an extensive empirical material collected in three purposefully select ed Polish regions (Silesia, Wielkopolska, Lubelskie). The research has produced several discoveries. Above all, it was reveale d that policy networks have been established at all stages of the policy process, from formulation to implementation. At the stage of formulatio n (the writing of the regional development strategies), the regions inve stigated were equipped with a large scope of liberty as fro the design o f their regional institutional systems. This produced a great variety of partnerships in the regions. At the stage of policy implementatio n, the regions were obliged to adopt identical institutional solutions, established by the Integrated Operational Programme of Regional Developm ent. Despite the fact that Regional Steering Committees, embodying the p rinciple of partnership, operated in each region, the competitive projec t selection procedures generated a strong rivalry and conflict in the pr ocess of regional policy implementation. The competitive project selecti on procedures seriously reduced the positive effects of the principle of partnership, in a manner similar in all three regions investigated. The prime conclusion of the of the research project is that the partners hip structures implemented in the Polish regional development policy hav e not thus far produced a high level of activity coordination, complemen tarity and synergy. Similarly, there are limited effects in terms of gro wing trust. The main reason for is to be seen in the competitive project selection procedures, which push social actors to self-interested behav iour. The research results also show that the historical legacy plays a role in the design and operations of the regional policy institutional s ystem in Poland. But is it only one factor, among others, such as the ac torsÂ’ interests, territorial and socio-economic profiles, and systemic s olutions. Further research should focus on the modifications of the regional polic y system in the 2007-2013 period, specific subfield of the regional poli cy (ex. Local development, innovation policy), as well as the creation o f the civic society at the regional level the consolidation of the socia l capital.
Table of Contents: TABLE OF CONTENTS
List of tables and figures 12

Chapter I. Introduction 13
1. Policy networks and regional development strategies in Poland – positing the research problem 13
2. The scope and focus of the project 18
3. Key questions and hypothesis 20
4. Conceptual and analytical framework 21
5. Terminological issues 25
6. Thesis outline 27


Chapter II. The concept of policy network 31
1. Introductory remarks and chapter outline. 31
2. From government to governance – a review of political theory around the notion of partnership. 33
3. Policy network: a research method and a theoretical approach. 47
1. Strategic management and the regional policy process 74
2. The regional policy network: actors and interactions of the regional policy process 83

Chapter IV: Regional Policy Networks and the Post-Socialist Transition 111
1. Transition versus transformation 111
2. Path-dependency versus path-shaping 115
3. State centralisation – the territorial problem of Poland 119
4. The problem of the public sphere and civil society in post-socialist Poland 123
5. Implications of transition theories for the concept of the regional policy network 128

Chapter V. The research field, strategy and method 131
1. Selection of the target regions 131
3. Policy analysis as a research framework 162
4. Qualitative versus quantitative network analysis 166
5. Research strategy: comparative case studies 168
6. Ethical issues 175


Chapter VI. Territorial reforms in 1990s 179
1. The regions in socialism 179
2. Reform of the self-government at the communal level in 1990. 181
3. Self-government in the Constitution of the Polish Republic. 184
4. The change of cabinet in 1998 and the return to regional reform 185
5. Territorial reform of 1998/1999 191
6. The financial aspect of the regional reform 195
7. Regional reform and the perspective of EU membership 198
8. Regional reform and the historical legacies 201

Chapter VII. National Institutional Framework of the Polish Regional Development Policy. 205
1. The early legal framework of the Polish regional policy. 206
2. National Development Plan 227
3. Integrated Operational Programme of Regional Development 236


Introduction to the case studies 259

Chapter VIII. Wielkopolska case study 263
1. The Regional Development Strategy of Wielkopolska 263
3. Strategy update of the Regional Development Strategy of Wielkopolska and the Regional Operational Programme (ROP) 283
4. Wielkopolska case study analysis 296

Chapter IX. Lubelskie case study 301
1. The Regional Development Strategy of the Lubelskie Region 301
2. Regional Steering Committee in Lubelskie Region 311
3. The Lubelskie Regional Development Strategy update 327
4. Lubelskie case analysis 340

Chapter X. Silesia case study 345
1. Regional Development Strategy in Silesia 345
2. The Regional Steering Committee in the Silesia Region 356
3. The Strategy update and the Regional Operational Programme. 374
4. Silesia case study analysis 393

Chapter XI. Joint case analysis 399
1. Introductory remarks to the case analysis 399
2. Policy network analysis 403
3. Factors shaping the regional policy networks 421
4. Policy outcomes: the problem of policy coherence 433
5. Theoretical framework revisited 438

Chapter XII Conclusions. Partnership in the Polish regional development policy: a learning process or make-believe? 453
1. Research results recapitulation 453
2. Research conclusions 456
3. Project portfolio – an alternative institutional solution for the regional policy. 461
4. Further research 465

Bibliography 469
Annex I. Abstracts 487
Annex II. Listing of organisations at which interviews have been carried out 489
Annex III. Maps 492
Annex IV. Doctoraten en Sociale Wetenschappen 495
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: TH
Appears in Collections:Leuven International and European Studies (LINES)

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