Regional Studies 48(1) pp 219-235

Network management is viewed as a way of dealing with uncertainty in complex policy networks, but little is known about the types of network management strategies employed by regional actors to manage vertical and horizontal relations. Two central questions guide this paper. What network management strategies were employed to manage complexity and uncertainty in regional governance networks in England? How can past lessons be harnessed to inform future network strategies for managing territorial networks? The paper concludes that regional network management strategies were effective in securing ‘process’ outcomes, but that ‘content’ outcomes, in the form of genuine discretion over policy, were unattainable without the authorization of central government.