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  • Stepping Back: Theorizing Diverse and Dynamic Epistemic Communities

    Manuel Pastor, Chris Benner

    Chapter from the book: Pastor M. & Benner C. 2015. Equity, Growth, and Community: What the Nation Can Learn from America's Metro Areas.


    Chapter 8 synthesizes the lessons of the case studies, beginning with a discussion of how the processes in the cases cannot easily be understood within the confines of traditional economic thinking. The chapter argues for a new micro-foundational approach that recognizes how social norms and identities influence behavior and inform collaboration (or a lack thereof). The chapter then uses that framework to suggest how diverse and dynamic epistemic communities involve transformations in actors as well as transactions between actors. The chapter explores the conditions under which knowledge communities emerge, including the role of shocks, the presence or absence of formal governance structures, and the impact of social movements and civic culture. Finally, the chapter uncovers from the cases what might be termed the mechanics of community building, including the development of shared knowledge and agendas, the need to frame issues in an inclusive way, and the importance of development collaborative leadership with a commitment to place.

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    Pastor M. & Benner C. 2015. Stepping Back: Theorizing Diverse and Dynamic Epistemic Communities. In: Pastor M. & Benner C, Equity, Growth, and Community. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.6.h

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    Published on Oct. 12, 2015