English // regional innovation policy, policy analysis, interpretive policy analysis, action research, innovation studies
There are an increasing number of critical voices within the innovation community who are raising questions around the relevance of innovation policy research to innovation policy practice. With the aim of contributing to a more relevant regional innovation policy research, this paper, builds on reflections along these lines presented by Morlacchi and Martin (2009), followed by Uyarra, Flanagan and Laranja (Flanagan & Uyarra, 2016; Flanagan, Uyarra, & Laranja, 2011), as well as issues raised and developed by action research scholars in general and the ‘action research for territorial development’ approach (Karlsen & Larrea, 2014a) in particular. Specifically, based on the idea that a greater diversity of approaches to policy analysis would benefit innovation studies, the paper argues for incorporating ideas developed by interpretive policy analysis scholars. The paper presents concepts and approaches that in our opinion require further exploration or strengthening, including the practice perspective, ‘ordering devices’, collaborative or dialogical approaches to policy analysis and constructivist approaches to policy learning.