Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Information society, work, and the generation of new forms of social exclusion: The increasing importance of the regional level

We have argued that the effective use of modern ICT typically requires organisational changes and large investments in human capital. Intensive training is discussed as an important tool to combat reproduced and new forms of social exclusion. Policies to improve the application of modern ICTs and to make their use more effective as well as complementary policies are in some cases beyond the scope of national governments. While national governments can create an environment that supports ICT-based restructuring in companies and increases awareness of social exclusion risks, regional governments can take more concrete steps.

The fact that regional governments can take a more active role in the building up of an information economy has several reasons. On the regional level, policy makers have a better overview of the concrete needs of the companies. Particularly with respect to SMEs, they can design more tailor-made policy programmes. Since regions represent genuine communities of economic interest, governments can take advantage of true linkages and synergies (economies of scale and agglomeration) among economic actors. It is much easier to co-ordinate various policy areas on the regional than on the national level and to form policy networks which include the main actors in the field. Particularly the co-ordination of policies supporting companies’ restructuring processes and education and labour market policy is easier to handle on the regional level. In addition, regions may be more suited to develop un-traded interdependencies and relational capital, which is important.

Reported by

University of Tampere
4 Tullikatu 6
33014 Tampere
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