Proximity and Stratification in European Scientific Research Collaboration Networks: A Policy Perspective

  • Jarno Hoekman
  • Koen Frenken
Part of the Advances in Spatial Science book series (ADVSPATIAL)


In this chapter we introduce a framework to understand the geography of scientific research collaboration with an emphasis on empirical studies that evaluate the policy efforts to create a ‘European Research Area’ (ERA). We argue that the geography of scientific research collaboration follows a logic of proximity that provides researchers with solutions to the problem of coordination, and a logic of stratification that provides researchers with differential means to engage in collaboration. The policy efforts to create ERA can then be understood as strategic policy interventions at the European level that affect the form and nature of both structuring principles. More specifically, the aim of reducing ‘fragmentation of research activities, programmes and policies’ affects the importance of several forms of proximity vis-à-vis each other, while the promotion of ‘research excellence’ results in new forms of network stratification at multiple spatial scales. We provide an overview of recent empirical findings to illustrate these claims, and discuss potential implications for future ERA policies.


Research Collaboration Collaboration Network Physical Proximity Policy Effort Cohesion Policy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences & Department of Innovation SciencesUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.School of Innovation SciencesEindhoven University of TechnologyEindhovenThe Netherlands

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