The Dynamics of Cross-Border Regional Innovation Systems. A Study on the Effects of the Border Control on the Øresund Region

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för kulturgeografi och ekonomisk geografi

Abstract: In autumn and winter 2015/2016, the Swedish government introduced a border control between the Danish and Swedish side of the Øresund region, which ended almost 60 years of free mobility between the two countries. The scope of the present study is to examine how the introduction of the border control has altered the conditions within the cross-border Regional Innovation System (RIS) of the Øresund region. The main emphasis of the study is to investigate of how the dimensions of the cross-border RIS influence each other and subsequently the entirety of the cross-border RIS. The theoretical framework has been adopted from Trippl’s concept of cross-border RIS and the further conceptualisation by Lundquist and Trippl of the concept of stage of integration. However, the case of the border control identifies a limitation within these conceptualisations. The concept of cross- border RIS is linear and static and thus inapt to apply upon the present empirical case. Instead, the thesis applies a dynamic approach by adapting recent discussions within proximity literature unto the concept of cross-border RIS. The empirical evidence is comprised of nine semistructured interviews with central actors in the Øresund to investigate this dynamic approach. The thesis concludes that the external condition of the border control facilitates changes between the dimensions of the cross- border RIS within a complex structure. Through these changes an interrelated nature between the dimensions emerge. The alterations to the dimensions prove to change the foundation of the Øresund region. It becomes evident that the border control has worsened the state of the Øresund region, however, it still must be characterised as a semi-integrated system. Nevertheless, the thesis show that the concept of cross-border RIS is inherently dynamic and propose that future research should embrace this approach.

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