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Social Capital Enhancement Through Regional Co-Operation: A Study Of A Swedish Policy Program


  • Maria Johansson

    () (Swedish Institute for Studies in Education and Research (SISTER), Stockholm)

  • Hans Westlund

    () (Department of Urban Planning and Environment,The Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm)


The environment for research and education is rapidly changing with the entry to the knowledge economy. Collaboration between higher education, government, and industry becomes more essential for knowledge production as do the sustainability of the networks between the collaborative partners. In Sweden a Special Committee was established for a three year period to financially support regional collaboration projects that focused on higher education. This study, based on questionnaires as well as interviews, analyse whether social capital was generated between projects’ collaborative partners. The results show that horizontal networks were useful to the collaboration projects and that social capital increased between partners through frequent contact and indirect spreading of the project to other areas. However, the social capital was not necessarily new but often developed from already established networks. Some policy conclusions for future collaboration projects are drawn.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Johansson & Hans Westlund, 2008. "Social Capital Enhancement Through Regional Co-Operation: A Study Of A Swedish Policy Program," Romanian Journal of Regional Science, Romanian Regional Science Association, vol. 2(1), pages 35-53, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:rrs:journl:v:2:y:2008:i:1:p:35-53

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Etzkowitz, Henry & Leydesdorff, Loet, 2000. "The dynamics of innovation: from National Systems and "Mode 2" to a Triple Helix of university-industry-government relations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 109-123, February.
    2. Bengt-Åke Lundvall, 2002. "The University in the Learning Economy," DRUID Working Papers 02-06, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    3. Woolcock, Michael & Narayan, Deepa, 2000. "Social Capital: Implications for Development Theory, Research, and Policy," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 15(2), pages 225-249, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hans Westlund, 2011. "Swedish Universities in Transition: From "Mode 1" to what?," ERSA conference papers ersa11p840, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Maria Ljunggren & Hans Westlund, 2013. "Professors’ attitude to collaboration and central infrastructure for collaboration: an analysis of social capital establishment within higher education institutions," Chapters,in: Knowledge Commercialization and Valorization in Regional Economic Development, chapter 5, pages 85-109 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item


    regional collaboration; higher education; social capital; policy implementations;

    JEL classification:

    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification


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