Image Fragmented Regional Worlds: Inequality and Populism in a Globalising World

Date and location

  •   July 3, 2017 - July 5, 2017
  •   The University of Sydney

Conference details

Registration is open! To join the conversation on Twitter, please use #RSASYDNEY

Important dates:
Abstract Submission Deadline: 12th June 2017

Recent economic and political developments have shed a new light on regional dynamics in Australia, New Zealand and other parts of the developed and developing world.  In Australia, new political movements, including Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party and the Nick Xenophon Team, have combined populism with a distinctive regional agenda.  At the same time, support for the Greens in both New Zealand and Australia is concentrated in urban areas, and especially the inner city, and this process of political fragmentation points to an increasing spatial divide that reflects growing inequality, as well as the emergence of cultural and other differences.  The parallels with the US Presidential vote in 2016 and the UK’s decision to exit the European Union are significant. 

This conference uses these recent developments as a backdrop for understanding the social, economic and political drivers of regional change and policy responses, in a post-truth world. We encourage papers that consider Antipodean perspectives of these phenomena, as well as those that seek to provide a broader understanding of contemporary processes of regional changes from across the globe. The focus of the conference will be to examine globalisation and the responses to its impacts, as well as the development of new forms of state intervention in society and the economy, and the changing relationship between, and within, state actors, civil society, the not-for-profit sector and corporations. Additionally, we welcome papers across a range of themes relating to the urban, rural and regional aspects of social, cultural and economic changes in contemporary society. We anticipate specific sessions in the conference relating to: 

  • Sydney as a global city;
  • Changing urban and regional systems in the developed and developing world;
  • Place, urban and regional leadership;
  • Food, social welfare and sustainability;
  • Local government and regional development processes. 

Abstract Submission

We welcome papers from all academics, students and those working in policy and practice. The event is inclusive and offers networking opportunities for all in our field. Please submit proposals for papers in the form of a 250 – 500 word abstract (text only, no pictures, graphs or tables) through the Regional Studies Association online portal by 12th June 2017.

Special Session Proposal Submission

The organisers welcome proposals for special sessions, themed workshops and innovative forms of networking and collaboration. If you would like to organise or offer a session to the conference, please complete the Special Session proposal form and send it to Wanda Miczorek at

Conference Fees

Standard Conference Fee Reduced Conference Fee
(Student, Early Career*, Retired)
£330 (~530AUD) £250 (~400AUD)

*Early Career – those within 5 years of the date of their PhD certificate or equivalent.


Academic Organisers
Prof. Bill Pritchard, The University of Sydney, Australia
Prof. Phil McManus, The University of Sydney, Australia
Prof. Andrew Beer, University of South Australia Business School, Australia
Prof. Lee Pugalis, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Dr Amanda Tatersall, University of Sydney, Australia

RSA Organiser
Wanda Miczorek,, +44 (0) 1273 698 017

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