Universities and Regional Advantage in the Knowledge Economy: Markets, Governance and Networks as Developing in English Regions

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


This thesis examines the links developing between the universities and their regions in the globalising knowledge economy as observed in the UK. It examines institutional responses to two realms of policies, namely, higher education policy and regional development policy. The diversifying missions of universities, especially, the ‘third stream activities’ promoted by the UK government since the late 1990s, are set against the dynamics of the multi-level territorial governance structure emerging within Europe. The key question examined is: can the new institutional strategies of universities in order to compete in a globalising market be reconciled with the increased emphasis upon their regional engagement in various policy agendas? The tensions created here are explored through an examination of policy discourses, and by means of empirical evidence concerning different institutional networks in different spatial contexts, in particular, in the West Midlands Region and at the University of Birmingham. Applying Jessop’s strategic-relational approach to institutions, networks are conceptualised as strategic alliances creating the dynamics of regional innovation systems emerging within the nine English regions. The thesis argues that harnessing universities to the creation of regional advantage involves building networks of knowledge flows across different spatial scales at which the knowledge economy is organised.


  • Fumi Kitagawa
External organisations
  • University of Birmingham
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Regional Innovation Systems, Networks, Universities
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
  • Collinge, Chris, Supervisor, External person
Award date2003 Dec 10
  • University of Birmingham
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2003-12-10 Time: 14:00 Place: University of Birmingham External reviewer(s) Name: Cooke, Philip Title: Professor Affiliation: Centre for Advanced Studies, University of Cardiff ---