Date and time
The past plays a crucial role in understanding, developing and implementing regional economic development policies. History reveals path dependencies in regions’ economies and informs about the successes and failures of policy instruments. As part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Regional Studies Association, the RSA Research Network on Regional Economic and Policy History (ReHi) has been funded. The main objective of the network is to explore, what a historic perspective may contribute to regional studies as well as current regional policy making and how approaches and methodologies used by historians can be better integrated in the regional studies.
The historical construction of regions: narratives, methods & challenges
Regions and localities are among the traditional loci for analysis among historians: A regional and/or local perspective facilitates access to archives and collection of archival sources. Yet, the nation state tend to remain the theoretical ‘default option’ for the historical analysis in area studies. Whether in its bottom‐top or top-down sense regionalism involves dimensions and processes which, theoretically, extend beyond the nation state. For example, regionalism within the framework of the EU involves a number of entirely new mechanisms for managing space, regional planning, and institutions. Closely tied to these processes is the construction and reconstruction of regional identities on basis of perceived legacies and heritage. History becomes important both to enhance the competitiveness of regions and to sustain social cohesion in local society. For example, many (endogenous) growth theories and policies emphasize the importance of regional institutions, which asks for insight in those factors that stimulated or hampered the development of regional institutions in the past.
We invite papers (methodological and/or case-oriented) that help us to gain insight in the ontological and methodological differences between historical and regional studies. Many historians tend to work inductively, whereas regional studies are mostly theory driven. How do historians manage the changing role and ‘narrative’ of the nation state relative to old and new regions? What can the changing role of the nation state learn us about the challenges and opportunities for region‐building in historical perspective? Which theoretical and methodological tools are necessary for understanding the dynamics of these processes?
Format of the workshop
The workshop follows the two previous workshops in building interdisciplinary connections over a two-day lunch-to-lunch programme. Key notes will be delivered by:
- Prof Dr Martin Åberg (Karlstad University, Sweden)
- Prof Dr Natasha Vall (Teeside University, UK)
- Prof Dr Peter Stadius (Helsinki University, Finland)
Representatives of the institutions participating in the network will moderate the sessions.
Participation in the event is free of charge. Refreshments and beverages will be provided.
Thanks to the financial support from the RSA we will be able to offer several travel bursaries for attending the workshop. If you wish to apply for a bursary or if you have any questions regarding your eligibility, please contact the key contact of the REHi network (Marijn Molema, Fryske Akademy/Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, firstname.lastname@example.org). Please note that bursaries can only be offered to participants who are members of the RSA and fulfil one of the following eligibility criteria:
- are student or early career members of RSA,
- are associate (retired) members of RSA,
- are RSA member working in a Band B, C or D country (see www.regionalstudies.org)