Winter Conference 2015

Great Transformation: Recasting Regional Policy

Date and location

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Conference details

Please submit offers of papers in the form of 400 word abstracts by Wednesday 30th September 2015.  A full paper will be required by Sunday 25th October 2015 at the latest, which can be any length, and contain tables and visual material.
Proposals will be considered by the Conference Programme Committee against the criteria of originality and interest, subject balance and geographical spread.

If tweeting about this event please use #RSAWINTER2015

The focus

This conference provides a platform for scholars across the globe to address great transformations taking place across our economic, political, and social spheres amidst heightened uneven development and inequality in a post-crisis era of ongoing market liberalisation, financialisation, global competition and changing patterns of regulation and governance. The world has continued to witness highly differentiated shifts in socio-economic relations in the recovery from the global financial crisis (GFC), with some places benefiting, while others have seen a worsening of problems.  The inter-related processes of industrialisation, urbanisation, and regional and local development are now becoming increasingly complex and pose a major challenge, firstly for our conceptualisation's of regional and urban development and, secondly, for specifying appropriate policy-fixes to ‘hold down’ the global and provide the atmosphere for sustained economic growth.

This 2015 Winter Conference, in the Fiftieth Year of the Regional Studies Association, presents a timely opportunity to discuss these issues, to establish the need and nature of future research imperatives, and to address the concerns and challenges confronting policymakers and practitioners.  The conference organisers are keen to attract papers and sessions that address a broad research and policy agenda, including contributions from any discipline which can offer relevant insights associated with the recasting of our cities and regions. 

Plenary & Panel Sessions

State of Play in Regional Theory
Chair: Professor Allen Scott, UCLA, USA
Speaker: Professor Michael Storper, London School of Economics, UK, Sciences-Po, France and UCLA, USA
Rapporteur: Professor Ron Martin, University of Cambridge, UK

Research and Policy in Europe
Speaker: Professor Kevin Morgan, Cardiff University, UK
Rapporteur: Dirk Ahner, European Commission, Belgium

Policy and the Evidence Trail
Chair: Professor Martin Jones, University of Sheffield, UK
Speaker: Professor Ann Markusen, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, USA
Rapporteur: Professor Ray Hudson, Durham University, UK

Panel Session: Research, Policy and the Contextual Deficit of Politics
Paul Hildreth, SURF - Salford University, UK
Professor Henry Overman, London School of Economics, UK
Professor Matthew Flinders, University of Sheffield, UK
Professor Mike Raco, The Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, UK
Professor Christina Beatty, Sheffield Hallam University, UK

The broad themes:

A. Regional and urban development theory revisited
Agglomeration, clusters and new cumulative causations; territorial patterns of competitiveness, innovation, entrepreneurship and adaptability; trade and regions
B. City and regiona governance for a post-crisis age
Devolution, constitutional change and economic governance; multi-level governance; leadership; trust and accountability
C. Growing apart? The increase in social and spatial inequality
Causes and consequences of greater inequality; geographical divides in wealth and poverty; the decline in the urban commons; people policies versus place policies
D. Evidence-based urban and regional policies
Data, methodology and rigour in regional studies; big data and urban and regional analysis; translating analysis into policy
E. Smart cities, smart regions?
Constructing dynamic competitive advantage; creating new pathways of development; the specialisation versus diversification debate; advanced manufacturing and regional renewal
F. Financing city and regional development
Financial systems and funding regional investment; is there a case for local capital markets? The geographies of venture capital and private equity; national investment banks
G. Infrastructure and urban and regional development
The role of infrastructure in regional and city growth; new models of financing public infrastructures; foreign ownership of infrastructures
H. Human capital and cities and regions
The new geographies of jobs; changing skills and patterns of work; reskilling regions and cities; the future of local labour market

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Conference organisers

Academic Organisers: Professor Martin Jones, the University of Sheffield, UK and Professor Ron Martin, the University of Cambridge, UK

RSA Organiser: Lesa Reynolds:

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