Most of our social reality (for instance, education, labour market or welfare statistical information) has traditionally been organised as 'national' phenomena. For this reason, since the nineteenth century, nation states have been traditionally considered the 'natural' units of analysis throughout social sciences research. More recently, however, with changing realities, among others, brought about by internationalisation, Europeanisation and globalisation processes, static and absolute concepts such as that of the nation state have been challenged in their usefulness in explaining our social world. In YOUNG_ADULLLT, the assumption that the implementation of Lifelong learning (LLL) policies is best studied at the regional/local level invited us to take a more differentiated glance than the national level allows for. By adopting the concept of 'Functional Region' (FR), we aim at conceptually taking into account not only their administrative aspects, but also their functional dynamics, their interrelations with other units as well as the interaction of their different sectoral policies. The concept FR refers to a sub-division of territories that result from the spatial differentiation and organisation of social and economic relations rather than to geographical boundaries, administrative particularities or to historical developments. A FR may be seen as organised by functional relations and can be described as a unit defined by labour/economic activities. For instance, labour mobility, or the size of the population as well as the level of employment is taken as central elements. FRs are regarded as more or less autonomous units can take different shapes or types and different inner patterns of interaction, since any kind of spatial flow or interaction can organize this region. For example, in the case of a functional urban area the flows or interactions could be oriented towards a single city or a town (e.g. with daily travel-to-work flows). This chapter argues that FRs provide a useful concept to understand differences in the planning and implementation of education, labour market, and economic policies at regional/local. It first introduces the concept FR as adopted in our research; second, it presents the units selected for research in the YOUNG_ADULLLT project, focusing on functional and thus on dynamic rather than administrative units of the research sites. In a third section, the chapter discusses the value-added and the challenges related to this conceptualisation in order to draw first conclusions as to the utility of the concept in supporting the formulation of coordinated policy-making in the field of LLL.
|Titolo:||Coordinated Policy-making in Lifelong Learning: Functional Regions as dynamic Units|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||02.01 - Contributo in volume (Capitolo o saggio)|