Jen Nelles

Jen Nelles
Oxford Brookes University · Business School

PhD

About

81
Publications
10,948
Reads
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1,266
Citations
Citations since 2016
36 Research Items
871 Citations
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Introduction
My research focuses on collaboration and flows across all sorts of boundaries (geographical, political, etc) to improve economic policy for the benefit of all. I currently have five (often overlapping) main areas of focus: 1) Productivity and innovation policy; (2) Regional and metropolitan governance; (3) Defining economic space; (4) Complexity theory and public policy; (5) Infrastructure
Additional affiliations
January 2020 - present
The University of Sheffield
Position
  • Research Associate
August 2013 - August 2014
City University of New York - Hunter College
Position
  • Visiting Research Scholar
June 2011 - present
City University of New York - Hunter College
Position
  • Professor
Education
September 2003 - February 2009
University of Toronto
Field of study
  • Political Science
September 2002 - June 2003
University of Toronto
Field of study
  • Political Science
September 1998 - June 2002
University of British Columbia - Vancouver
Field of study
  • Political Science

Publications

Publications (81)
Article
This editorial explores the importance and power of regional graphics for communication in both academia and practice. This journal regularly publishes regional graphics, which feature one or a series of visualizations accompanied by short text that frames the value of the research and includes methodological points. In the relatively short life of...
Article
This article argues that the concept of civic capital affords considerable insight into systems of urban economic development, usefully bridging gaps in both institution-centric and social capital approaches. While the concept has been applied in the literature on urban governance and economic development, its use has been fragmentary and has not s...
Article
Full-text available
The timely disengagement of a firm from its old technological achievements and the update of its core technological competencies are important issues for both management scholars and practitioners. However, a firm is naturally reluctant to abandon or replace technologies created internally and on which a large amount of resources has been spent and...
Presentation
The Network on Infrastructural Regionalism (NOIR) launched with a call for a new research agenda focusing on exploring the intersection between infrastructure and regionalism centered on four interrelated themes: interdisciplinarity; infrastructure and regional governance; seeing like a region; and infrastructure and regional lives. This talk bring...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The starting point for the study was to review the role of Further Education Colleges (FECs) and their potential contribution as part of the innovation landscape. Building on previous work, this project unpacks the current and prospective role of FECs in developing the innovation capabilities of businesses. Given the funding available to FECs throu...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Recent research demonstrates that the UK is very spatially unequal when it comes to productivity with 72% of regions performing below the UK average. In 2020, the OECD noted the underperformance of UK core cities relative to international peers, while Core Cities UK found that these places were not living up to their growth potential. Prior to COVI...
Presentation
On 12th February 2020, Jen Nelles, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development (CREED), University of Sheffield Management School, Productivity Insights Network (PIN), hosted our CECAN Webinar: 'Mapping the Cognitive Landscape of Productivity in Northern Ireland: A Systems Approach to Understanding Producti...
Article
Full-text available
An interdisciplinary ‘infrastructure turn’ has emerged over the past 20 years that disputes the concept of urban infrastructure as a staid or neutral set of physical artefacts. Responding to the increased conceptual, geographical and political importance of infrastructure – and endemic issues of access, expertise and governance that the varied prov...
Article
An ‘infrastructure turn’ across the social and policy sciences is generating a new wave of interdisciplinary enquiry into how infrastructure is shaping urban and regional space. This editorial introduces a virtual special issue that charts the evolution of infrastructure as an empirical and conceptual concern within Regional Studies. The issue demo...
Article
This paper explores the potential and limits of using the concept of metropolisation to describe the emergence and evolution of metropolitan spaces (process) and particularly focuses on its utility as a tool to specify the limits of the metropolitan (lens). To that end, it asks to what degree this alternative and multifaceted conceptualization of t...
Book
Regions are difficult to govern – coordinating policies across local jurisdictional boundaries in the absence of a formal regional government gives rise to enormous challenges. Yet some degree of coordination is almost always essential for local governments to effectively fulfill their responsibilities to their citizens. State and local governments...
Article
Full-text available
In the absence of consensus about which organizations matter or are the “right” manifestations of American regional intergovernmentalism scholarship has had to develop an imprecisely defined and tacitly circulated perception of regions and the cross-boundary organizations that embody them. Even where effort has been made to establish a broad and co...
Article
The role of governance networks in building metropolitan scale – Territory, Politics, Governance. The broad aim of this comparative study is to examine the relationship between governance networks and the emergence (or lack thereof) of metropolitan scales through an analysis of metropolitan development-policy processes. It explores the characterist...
Article
Full-text available
Summary of research findings on Indigenous - municipal cooperation in the United States and CAnada
Article
Full-text available
The literature on metropolitan governance is replete with examples of collaborative efforts that have fallen short of expectations and grim prognoses of the potential for voluntary forms of regional governance. This article analyzes something often sought, and rarely found, in American metropolitan politics: successful, effective, and sustained int...
Article
Cooperation between municipalities and Indigenous people is transforming life in Canada for the better. http://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/august-2016/indigenous-communities-and-local-governments-are-powerful-partners/
Book
Full-text available
Much of the coverage surrounding the relationship between Indigenous communities and the Crown in Canada has focused on the federal, provincial, and territorial governments. Yet it is at the local level where some of the most important and significant partnerships are being made between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. In A Quiet Evolution,...
Chapter
The CQ Press Guide to Urban Politics and Policy in the United States will bring the CQ Press reference guide approach to topics in urban politics and policy in the United States. If the old adage that “all politics is local” is even partially true, then cities are important centers for political activity and for the delivery of public goods and ser...
Article
The impact of governance on multicentered development is examined by surveying the political responses of two leading North American global city regions (GCRs): New York and Toronto. Although both GCRs have experienced very similar policy tensions during recent decades, their process of economic restructuring is strongly mediated by four systemic f...
Article
Full-text available
This paper introduces a new approach to the comparative analysis of multilevel governance (MLG). Using water governance in North America as an illustrative example, it advances an innovative approach for scrutinizing the varieties of actor constellations in multilevel settings. While MLG is commonly conceptualized rather broadly as a system, we def...
Article
Full-text available
While the relatively free and frequent flow of traffic across international boundaries is an essential foundation of cross-border regions, cross-border public transit systems are the ultimate symbols of metropolitan integration. This paper investigates the governance of the cross-border transit system in Eurometropolis of Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai bet...
Conference Paper
Paper prepared for the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (APSA), Washington DC, August 28-31 st , 2014 Disclaimer: Gentle reader, this article is very much a work in progress and should be treated as such. Please contact the author for permission to cite. Abstract Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) are required by...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A very preliminary assessment of regional governance patterns in the organization of public transit in the NYC metro area
Article
In their 1986 book Goldberg and Mercer find institutional and structural differences between Canadian and American cities attributable to the different ways that political culture has affected the evolution of urban regions. The American preference for individualism and competition, for limited government intervention and for local autonomy have al...
Article
Full-text available
There has been growing interest among practitioners and academics in the emergence of intergovernmental relations between local and Aboriginal governments in Canada. Initial research has focused on describing the nature of these relations but has yet to develop any theoretical expectations regarding why some communities are more likely to cooperate...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
For scholars of urban politics, the 2012 presidential elections were significant in a number of different respects. First, it was striking (though not unusual) that in the course of the campaign the candidates rarely engaged with urban issues such as affordable housing, mass public transit, or urban environmental sustainability (see Baker, 2012). S...
Article
A growing and diverse academic literature exists on the functional, cultural and political linkages between border communities. These examinations of borderland communities seek to explain why and how linkages develop and assess the strength and implications of these relationships. In North America, Detroit–Windsor is the quintessential metropolita...
Article
Over the past fifty years, Indigenous peoples in settler countries have mobilized to demand policy and institutional changes from their respective states. Although some scholars have employed multilevel governance (MLG) to make sense of these developments, none has examined systematically whether MLG accurately describes these phenomena. We address...
Article
The policy actions of senior levels of government can often be important catalysts to collective action for metropolitan governance. This article compares the challenges that actors in metropolitan Detroit have faced in attempting to establish metropolitan transit governance in response to the promise of federal funding for regional transit in 1967...
Book
How are metropolitan regions governed? What makes some regions more effective than others in managing policies that cross local jurisdictional boundaries? Political coordination among municipal governments is necessary to attract investment, rapid and efficient public transit systems, and to sustain cultural infrastructure in metropolitan regions....
Article
Full-text available
In the last 20 years, the number of cross-border cooperation structures in Europe has exploded owing to political and financial support by the European Union aimed at encouraging cohesion and developing peripheral regions. These policies are part of processes of de-bordering and political rescaling that have profoundly affected cross-border areas b...
Article
The cross-border governance issue is a crucial stake for understanding the driving forces and the brakes of the territorial integration in Europe. The idea of this paper is to contribute to this debate by focusing the study of cross-border governance in the field of public transportation within the cross-border metropolitan region of Lille. After i...
Article
Despite a rich and well-developed literature on Canadian federalism, multilevel governance, and aboriginal–settler relations, scholars have tended to ignore the variety of inter-governmental agreements that have emerged between aboriginal and municipal governments in Canada. This article examines ninety-three such agreements to construct a typology...
Article
Universities are increasingly challenged to become more socially and economically relevant institutions. While this phenomenon has prompted a growing literature documenting the evolution of the contemporary university, it remains at once both too broadly conceptualized and overly fragmented. Thus, while these literatures continue to grow, they rema...
Article
Full-text available
The Detroit-Windsor region is linked by the automotive industry, significant cross-border labor and recreation flows, cultural similarities, and social problems stemming from the economic downturn. According to theories of cross-border cooperation this case should be one characterized by a degree of institutional integration and intermunicipal coor...
Article
The widespread transformation of the economic base has seen the decline of traditional manufacturing economies and the rise of knowledge-based economies. Consequently, conventional manufacturing-oriented industrial policy has become 'future orientated' towards the challenges of the knowledge-based economies, and increasingly replaced by innovation...
Article
Purpose Over the past 20 years public policy has sought to promote and formalise the socio‐economic role of universities under the auspices of the so called “third mission”. The purpose of this paper is to consider how the third mission relates to, and has the capacity to reinforce the core missions of teaching and research. Design/methodology/app...
Article
Recent national and regional innovation policies have both catalysed and compounded the entrepreneurial tendency in higher education, redefining the traditional roles of universities. While academic debate has for some time addressed the importance of universities to regional economic development, more recent literature has focused explicitly on ho...
Article
Scholarship abounds on the importance of city-regions to regional and national prosperity, and to the wider global economy. But little is known about their capacity to function as effective, legitimate and robust policy actors. This article begins to address the important question of what determines the governance capacity of city-regions by unpack...
Article
Full-text available
Never waste a good crisis! This has become the mantra of politicians and civic leaders facing fallout of the recent financial crisis. It declares that crisis can prove fertile ground for positive change, opportunity can spring from ruin, and that infrastructure, processes and institutions can be rebuilt. Financial downturns affect municipalities an...
Article
Universities are widely cited as engines of the knowledge economy, with public policy increasingly viewing universities as integral to economic growth and competitiveness. This new function, colloquially known as the Third Mission, has seen the entrepreneurial role of universities emphasised by government and institutional policy, although seemingl...
Article
In this complex and highly interconnected world, one government rarely possesses full capability in any given policy area. It is therefore vital to understand how governments can work together to achieve collective goals. This paper examines how horizontal cooperation between local governments emerges in metropolitan regions. It tests a theoretical...
Article
Full-text available
Since their introduction in 1973, comprehensive land claims (CLC) agreements have become important mechanisms for Aboriginal peoples to achieve their political, social, cultural, and economic goals. Although the literature on CLC negotiations is a rich and varied one, it has tended to ignore the role that municipal governments have on influencing n...
Article
Universities are engines of the knowledge-based economy, both as sites of knowledge production and exploitation. Over the past two decades a “Third Mission” for universities has been articulated, alongside teaching and research; and this third mission is understood as commercial engagement. While growing literatures on the entrepreneurial universit...
Article
Full-text available
Universities are increasingly being challenged to become more socially and economically relevant institutions under the guise of the so-called ‘Third Mission’. This phenomenon, articulated in policy, has prompted the emergence of a growing literature documenting the evolution of the contemporary university, and specifically addressing the Third Mis...
Article
Envisagée en termes de Troisième mission, l’université « entreprise », également appelée université « entrepreneuriale », s’est peu à peu inscrite dans le panorama conceptuel ordinaire des politiques publiques. Les analystes ne sont toutefois pas parvenus à s’entendre sur ce qu’implique réellement cette Troisième mission pour les deux autres volets...
Article
Framed in terms of the Third Mission, the "enterprise" or "entrepreneurial" university has increasingly become normalised in public policy; however there remains much contention about the implication of third stream activities. There is little rigorous evidence as to whether the Third Mission adversely affects teaching and/or (basic) research. Mart...
Article
Full-text available
Bramwell A., Nelles J. and Wolfe D. A. Knowledge, innovation and institutions: global and local dimensions of the ICT cluster in Waterloo, Canada, Regional Studies. This paper presents research findings on the information and communication technology (ICT) cluster in Waterloo, Ontario. Cluster dynamics in Canada do not conform to some of the key as...
Article
Framed in terms of the Third Mission, the “enterprise” or “entrepreneurial” university has increasingly become normalised in public policy; however there remains much contention about the implication of third stream activities. There is little rigorous evidence as to whether the Third Mission adversely affects teaching and/or (basic) research. Mart...
Article
Envisagée en termes de Troisième mission, l’université « entreprise », également appelée université « entrepreneuriale », s’est peu à peu inscrite dans le panorama conceptuel ordinaire des politiques publiques. Les analystes ne sont toutefois pas parvenus à s’entendre sur ce qu’implique réellement cette Troisième mission pour les deux autres volets...
Article
Full-text available
Within the UK the so called 'Third Mission' has become synonymous with commercializing academic research as universities attempt to realise their potential -an approach which has been engineered through government policy. Despite the emphasis placed on the knowledge/technology transfer agenda by the government, and the funding stream made available...

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Projects (5)
Project
For the longest time, I couldn't wrap my head around this concept. It seemed to be mainly used as a descriptive tool or as an empty vessel in which you could throw anything and everything that challenged the authority of the nation-state. So I decided to try and figure this concept out by writing about it. This research stream tries to advance a new definition of multilevel governance. My hope is to provide a coherent body of research around the concept and to redefine it in a way that permits more systematic empirical work. I hope others will take up my redefinition of the concept and test it for usefulness and robustness.