The Dynamics of Policy Innovation and Diffusion in the Gulf Cooperation Council: A Case Study of Three Specialized Cities | Ifi Working Paper Series #7
Working Paper Series #7 | February 2012
The Dynamics of Policy Innovation and Diffusion in the Gulf Cooperation Council: A Case Study of Three Specialized Cities by Hiba Khodr
This study examines a recent phenomenon in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) referred to as Specialized Cities (SC). A Specialized City is a “city in-the-city” that has the main purpose of implementing innovations in selected policy areas, in addition to being a new town. This paper goes beyond describing the spread of SC in the Arab Gulf region to answer to a broader question: what motivates a GCC country to adopt such policy innovation? The study reports on three case studies: Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC), Abu Dhabi Masdar City, and Qatar Education City. The cases were selected for the special considerations outlined below and were studied using two different research approaches: desk research and a combination of a variety of research tools. The first approach was intended to elicit basic background information and documentation and to provide the author with the identities of the different stakeholders who would become key informants. The second approach was intended to obtain richer quantitative and qualitative data including a brief quantitative description of the phenomenon, whereas the latter would expose the underlying drivers behind the creation of these cities, the determinants for their regional diffusion, and, to a certain extent, their policy impact. This preliminary analysis of each of the cases is followed by a comparative approach that aims at discovering similarities and differences as well as generating a preliminary analytical model.