Cohesion Policy

Territorial Capital, Policy Learning and Knowledge Governance
for Regional Development


Cohesion Policy is probably the most complex policy in the world because of territorial challenges, institutional complexity and legal framework. Yet, this is, in my view, the most ambitious policy substantiating the ‘European Project’. Referring to the theme on policy learning, I am exploring how European regions are learning to benefit from this European intervention.

Since February 2019, I am coordinator of the RSA Research Network on Cohesion Policy [#CPnet].

Ideas for future collaborations

Are European regions and cities learning to use the EU Cohesion Policy to accumulate their Territorial Capital? Or they are simply boosting economic productions or, even worst, wasting these resources?

How does the EU Cohesion Policy evolved over time?

The EU Cohesion Policy as a fertile playground to innovate regional development policy. Where? When? How?

Publications & Projects
  • Dotti, N. F., Lazzeri, G., & Bramanti, A. (2018). Smart timing and specialized spaces: Reflections on the implementation of smart specialisation strategies in Milan and Brussels. Public Policy Portuguese Journal, 3(1), 44-56.
  • Dotti, N. F., & Spithoven, A. (2018). Economic drivers and specialization patterns in the spatial distribution of Framework Programme’s participation. Papers in Regional Science, 97(4), 863-882.
  • Dotti, N. F. (Ed.). (2016). Learning from implementation and evaluation of the EU Cohesion Policy: Lessons from a research-policy dialogue. Brussels: RSA Research Network on Cohesion Policy. Retrieved from
  • Dotti, N. F. (2016). Unwritten Factors Affecting Structural Funds: The Influence of Regional Political Behaviours on the Implementation of EU Cohesion Policy. European Planning Studies24(3), 530–550.
  • Dotti, N. F., & Bubbico, R. L. (2014). New Challenges for Structural Funds: The New Territorial Capital Approach in the Perspective of the Evolution of the EU Regional Policy. European Structural and Investment Funds Journal2(2), 101–115. Available here
    • Dotti, N. F., & Bubbico, R. L. (2013). New challenges for Structural Funds: The New Territorial Capital Approach in the Perspective of the Evolution of the EU Regional Policy. Proceedings of the 20th international conference of the Council of European Studies (CES).
  • Dotti, N. F. (2014). EU Cohesion Policy: The Debate on the 2014–2020 Programming Period. Reviews & Critical Commentary of the Council for European Studies. Retrieved from
  • Dotti, N. F. (2013). The Unbearable Instability of Structural Funds’ Distribution. European Planning Studies21(4), 596–614.
  • Dotti, N. F. (2011). Territories, Governments and the European Structural Funds: Regional Distribution, Political Allocation and Territorial Capital Accumulation(PhD thesis). Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy.
  • Camagni, R., & Dotti, N. F. (2010). Il Sistema Urbano. In P. Perulli & A. Pichierri (Eds.), La Crisi Italiana nel Mondo Globale: Economia e Società del Nord (pp. 35–68). Torino: Einaudi.