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The learning region tradition: a cultural reappraisal

Jon P. Knudsen (Department of Working Life and Innovation, University of Agder, Grimstad, Norway)

The Learning Organization

ISSN: 0969-6474

Article publication date: 19 May 2020

Issue publication date: 16 July 2020




The learning region has over the years become popular as a concept to portray and analyse subnational geographic entities heading for future growth and well-being. Claiming analytic and political relevance, the concept nevertheless retains much unclarified ideological content.


This study traces its roots to varieties of heterodox economic thinking where it has gained a prominent place.


While being strong on the value of different kinds of knowledge to economic development, the concept has a much weaker grip on the cultural rationales for knowledge and learning.


Thus, the study concludes with a need for a cultural reorientation to take place if the concept is going to retain its significance in the future academically as politically.



Knudsen, J.P. (2020), "The learning region tradition: a cultural reappraisal", The Learning Organization, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 223-234.



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