Changing Trends in Regional Economic Development Policy Governance: The Case of Northern Ontario, Canada


  • I would like to acknowledge the support of all those who in various ways have contributed to the successful completion of this manuscript. I wish to first and foremost thank my wife, Sharmila, and children, Hannah and Jesse, for their immense patience and unconditional love throughout those countless hours of self-imposed solitary confinement conducting research and writing this article. I am especially indebted to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for the grant that made this work possible. Finally, to those who assisted with constructive comments and feedback, including the reviewers selected by this journal, thank you for your invaluable support beyond the call of duty.


This article analyses the changing trends in regional economic development policy delivery in multilevel governance systems. Although the imperatives of coordination of public policy interventions across multiple levels has generally been recognized, not enough attention has been given to how different political systems actually adapt their institutional and policy designs to effectively operate in the emergent complexity of multilevel governance systems. The article focuses on regional economic development policy governance in the province of Ontario, Canada over the past three decades, drawing insights from new regionalism, organization theory and governance literature to examine the prospects and challenges of policy delivery in politically complex multilevel systems. The case study illustrates how regional economic development policy is increasingly dictated by complex environmental and institutional forces of multilevel governance that are shaped by the particular character of a political system.