2023 RSA Winter Conference Special Sessions
As part of the 2023 RSA Winter Conference, there will be a number of Special Sessions running throughout the academic programme. If you would like to submit an abstract to one of the sessions, submit your abstract in the normal way and you will find each session listed in the gateway themes on the abstract submission page.
Andy Pike, Newcastle University, UK
Session Details (closed Session)
Author meets interlocutors…Andy Pike’s Financialization and Local Statecraft
The UK government reduced expenditure and introduced local financial self-sufficiency in pursuing austerity after the 2008 crash, forcing local governments in England to find savings and new income sources to close funding gaps. As new financial strategies and practices were devised, ‘councillors at the casino’ were characterized taking risks with local taxpayers’ money and jeopardizing local public service provision. Looking beyond the high-profile cases in an internationally resonant local public sector reform laboratory, Financialization and Local Statecraft examines the wider landscape across local government in England since 2010. A local tier of over 300 governments, managing £100bn of revenue expenditure, and employing almost 1.5m providing services to over 56m people across the country. Underpinned by local statehood attributes, a new local statecraft theory explains how local statecrafters act in realms including financial strategies and risks, external advice, borrowing and debt management, and in and out-of-area activities. The framework reveals and accounts for their vanguard, intermediate, and long tail approaches with differing engagements with financialization. While limited within the overall landscape, such relations and UK government policy are rewiring and rescaling local statecraft and relocating risks and uncertainties onto local government and the wider local state. UK government policy and the extension and intensification of financialization expose the local state’s financial sustainability and resilience in the longer-term. They raise fundamental questions about what local government is for and how it should be funded? Eroded local accountability of local statecraft in financialization risks de-politicised and post-democratic local governance. This panel brings together interlocutors from multiple disciplines to discuss and debate the book and its wider contributions to finance and society scholarship.
- Andy Pike, Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS), Newcastle University
- Sarah Ayres, University of Bristol
- David Bailey, University of Birmingham
- Mia Gray, University of Cambridge
- Flavia Martinelli, Università Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria
- Jen Nelles, Oxford Brookes University
- Mark Sandford, House of Commons Library
Lisa De Propris, University of Birmingham, UK
Sally Weller, University of South Australia, Australia
The populations of cities and regions have uneven capacities to respond to the accelerating pace of environmental, industrial and technological change. As developmental pathways diverge, public policy in many advanced economy contexts has embraced the notion of delivering a ‘Just Transition’ to affected workers and communities as an essential element of the process of forging a new path of ‘old’ industrial regions (Newell and Mulvaney, 2013; Dawley et al. 2015). A Just Transition in its original conception referred to distributional equity and compensating the losers of change in ways that exceed notions of resilience. However, as ‘Just Transition’ enters the mainstream discourse, its meaning and content are subject to contestation (Bouzarovski, 2022), and its meaning appears to be shifting from the material issues associated with equity of outcomes to the construction of narratives to support the social legitimization of change. This process risks casting affected workforces and communities as an institutional impediment to socio-technical change (Heffron and McCauley, 2022).
This session seeks papers that interrogate the notion of just transition and its application in regional contexts. We invite papers that:
- develop concepts of just transition and explore the different forms of justice it entails (Bainton et al, XXXX).
- interrogate the shifting discursive construction of the idea of just transition as a mobile and ‘vehicular’ concept with hybrid forms across domains like energy and food systemss (While and Easdon, 2022)
- identify the magnitude of the practical interventions and the optimal institutional arrangements that would be required to deliver a just transition to affected workers and communities (Engelen et al. 2017);
- explore the political dimension of spatial justice and the tensions between different scalar lenses, from the local to the planetary.
- Explicate the role of particular types of agents, especially trade unions, in defining and securing just transitions (Stevis and Felli, 2015)
- incorporate consideration of the social and employment impacts of both environmental and energy transitions in response to climate change and the digital and technological transformations that promise to reshape the nature of work.
- Examine the tensions and commonalities of just transition in relation to established concepts like regional resilience.
Rhiannon Pugh, Lund University, Sweden
Marja-Liisa Öberg, Lund University, Sweden
Cross-border regions (CBRs) have been a site of special interest for the regional studies community. They have been studied from a range of disciplinary perspectives ranging from the economic, political, and social spheres. They have also been discussed in terms of the European Union, cohesion, and innovation systems (e.g: Lundquist & Trippl, 2013; Capello et al., 2018; Chandra et al., 2022; Medeiros et al., 2022; Jakubowski & Wójcik, 2023). The recent years, however, have thrown up considerable challenges for these regions, not least through the plethora of ‘covidfencing’ measures implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that have had a disproportionate effect on CBRs (Medeiros et al., 2021; Novotny, 2022). In light of the current political insecurity in Europe, the escalating climate crisis, and persistence of the international migrant crisis we can predict that such impacts are likely to reoccur in the future. CBRs will come under increased pressure by the implementation of border closures and other measures hampering the free movement of persons, goods and services. However, there is also hope for CBRs to strengthen co-operation and develop novel and innovative solutions to social, economic, and environmental challenges (Mederios et al., 2022). Building on the lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic, but not only, it is important to understand how CBRs impact dynamics related to various societal challenges, what frameworks contribute to the resilience of CBRs, and how the functioning of CBRs can be improved in situations of crisis. This session will bring together researchers across a wide spectrum of topics and methodological approaches relating to CBRs, and will enable the sharing of experiences and perspectives on a global scale. Submissions are welcomed from a wide range of perspectives, not limited to but possible including:
- Crisis measures and cross-border regions e.g. border closures, covid-19 etc.
- Cohesion and co-operation of cross-border regions
- Legal issues in cross-border regions
- Cross border innovation systems and entrepreneurial ecosystems
- The multi-level governance of cross-border regions
- Methods and approaches for studying cross-border regions
Capello, R., Caragliu, A., & Fratesi, U. (2018). Measuring border effects in European cross-border regions. Regional Studies, 52(7), 986-996.
Chandra, K., Wang, J., Luo, N., & Wu, X. (2022). Asymmetry in the distribution of benefits of cross-border regional innovation systems: the case of the Hong Kong–Shenzhen innovation system. Regional Studies, 1-15.
Jakubowski, A., & Wójcik, P. (2023). Towards cohesion at the interface between the European Union states? Cross-border asymmetry and convergence. Regional Studies, 1-14.
Lundquist, K. J., & Trippl, M. (2013). Distance, proximity and types of cross-border innovation systems: A conceptual analysis. Regional studies, 47(3), 450-460.
Medeiros, E., Guillermo Ramírez, M., Ocskay, G., & Peyrony, J. (2021). Covidfencing effects on cross-border deterritorialism: the case of Europe. European Planning Studies, 29(5), 962-982.
Medeiros, E., Ramírez, M. G., Dellagiacoma, C., & Brustia, G. (2022). Will reducing border barriers via the EU’s b-solutions lead towards greater European territorial integration?. Regional Studies, 56(3), 504-517.
Novotný, L. (2022). Effects of ‘covidfencing’on cross-border commuting: a case of Czech-German borderland. European Planning Studies, 30(4), 590-607.
Lucy Roberts, American Friends Service Committee
Libby Chase, American Friends Service Committee
Is there a correlation between a thriving civil society and security for all? A prominent myth during the COVID-19 pandemic suggested an either/or trade-off between freedom and security. This was to support the curtailment of civic freedoms to provide health security. AFSC believes that a thriving civil society creates greater security for a region. We would like to explore this in this session.
Within the focus area of ‘regional strategies for enhancing security’ this session will be an interdisciplinary open discussion exploring the relationship between civic freedom and security for all.
The objectives of the session;
– To learn and share ideas about the necessary building blocks for an active civil society
– To explore how the protection of civic space can create security for all communities within a region
– To discuss the benefits of a ‘shared security’ agenda that prioritises inclusivity and meets the needs of all people to live safely and enjoy their rights
Please submit an abstract by 7th August. You will have 15 minutes to present and respond to questions. Your presentation will be a maximum of 7 minutes, with 8 minutes or more for questions. We look forward to learning from a variety of sectors and will make selections based on the diversity and innovation of the abstracts.
Vincent Grèzes, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western, Switzerland
Sandra Grèzes-Bürcher, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western, Switzerland
The concept of a positive economy refers to an economy that aims at serving the common good, preserving the natural capital, and enhancing the well-being of present and future generations. It challenges the dominant economic paradigm based on short-term profit, growth and competition, and proposes alternative approaches that are more ethical, sustainable and resilient. It also implies a shift from a sectoral and functional perspective to a territorial and systemic perspective, where regions, cities and rural areas are considered as key actors and spaces for fostering positive economic initiatives.
The aim of this special session is to explore the concept of positive economy and its implications for territorial development. It seeks to bring together theoretical and empirical contributions from different disciplines and perspectives.
This special session consists of three subtopics:
- Conceptual framework of the positive economy. This subtopic aims to clarify the origins, foundations, principles and dimensions of this concept, as well as to situate it in relation to other alternative approaches of the economy. It also seeks to identify the theoretical and epistemological challenges that the positive economy poses for the social sciences in general and for the regional studies in particular. This subtopic will rely on the works of Attali (2013), who introduced the concept of positive economy, and will also mobilize contributions from the international literature on the notions of common good, sustainability and resilience, which are at the heart of positive economy (Ostrom, 1990; Sachs, 2015; Walker and Salt, 2012). It may also refer to the work of Felber (2019), who developed a model of economy for the common good based on ethical and democratic values, and who inspired many initiatives in the world.
Research objectives. There are still theoretical and epistemological challenges to be met in order to consolidate this concept and make it operational for the social sciences in general and for regional studies in particular. For example, how does it relate to other alternative approaches of the economy (social and solidarity economy, circular economy, collaborative economy, etc.)? How can we measure the positivity of an economy or a territory? What are the relevant criteria and indicators? How can we link the positive economy with notions of the common good, sustainability and resilience? How can we integrate the diversity of cultural, institutional and geographical contexts into the analysis of the positive economy?
- Good practices at micro, meso and macro levels. This subtopic aims to illustrate the diversity of initiatives that fall under positive economy in different territorial contexts (regions, cities, rural areas). It also seeks to analyze the factors of success, limitations and impacts of these initiatives on social, environmental and economic level. This subtopic aims to identify concrete case studies from different regions of the world that testify to the implementation of positive economy in various domains such as energy, agriculture, tourism, culture or digital. It will also mobilize contributions from literature on territorial development, social and solidarity economy, circular economy or collaborative economy, which offer relevant frameworks of analysis to apprehend these initiatives (Becattini et al., 2009; Defourny and Nyssens, 2017; Lieder and Rashid, 2016; Sundararajan, 2017).
Research objectives. There are few sources that have documented and shared good practices in this area, and there are still gaps to be filled and opportunities to be seized in order to analyze the success factors, limitations and social, environmental and economic impacts of these initiatives. For example, what are the good practices that illustrate the diversity of positive economic initiatives in different territorial contexts (regions, cities, rural areas)? What are the factors of success, limitations and impacts of these initiatives on the social, environmental and economic level? How can these best practices be adapted and reproduced in other contexts? How can we capitalize on and disseminate these best practices to public and private decision-makers?
- Future research needs to accompany the actors of change. This subtopic aims to define the priority axes, key questions, appropriate methods and relevant data sources to study positive economy and its effects on territories. It also seeks to identify the needs of actors of change (local authorities, social enterprises, associations, citizens, etc.) in terms of information, support and evaluation. This part may be inspired by the works of the Positive Economy Institute (2021), which developed indexes of positivity of territories based on a series of social, environmental and democratic indicators. It will also rely on contributions from literature on social change, social innovation and public policy evaluation, which are key domains to understand and support the transition towards a positive economy (Moulaert et al., 2014; Nicholls et al., 2015).
Research objectives. Few sources have proposed avenues of research on this topic, except the report by Attali (2013). There are still needs to be identified and met to support change agents (local authorities, social enterprises, associations, citizens, etc.) in terms of information, support and evaluation. For example, what are the future research needs to accompany the actors of change in their transition towards a positive economy? What are the information, support and evaluation needs of these actors?
How can we encourage the sharing of knowledge and experience between players? What tools and mechanisms are needed to support social and ecological innovation? How can we assess the social, environmental and economic impact of positive initiatives?
Criteria for the call for papers
Those interested in participating in the special session are invited to submit an abstract of their contribution (text only) by August 7, 2023. The abstract must meet the following criteria:
- It must be written in English and be up to 250 words long.
- It must indicate the title of the contribution, the name and affiliation of the author(s), and the contact e-mail.
- It must specify the part of the special session to which it relates (conceptual framework analysis, position papers, best practices).
- It should present the subject, problem, method and expected results of the contribution.
Please submit your abstract through the RSA conference portal at https://lounge.regionalstudies.org/Meetings/Meeting?ID=471 by 7th August 2023.
Abstracts will be considered and reviewed by the Special Session Committee against the criteria of originality, interest, subject balance and geographical spread.
Abstracts will be evaluated by the scientific committee of the special session according to the following criteria:
- Relevance of the topic to the theme of the special session and the conference.
- Clarity and coherence of the problem, method and expected results.
- Originality and scientific interest of the contribution.
- Quality of writing and compliance with instructions.
Authors of selected abstracts will be informed by e-mail. They will then be able to submit the full text of their contribution. Authors may participate by selecting an abstract only.
Full papers may be selected for inclusion in a thematic collective publication/book.
Attali, J. (2013). A brief history of the future. Arcade Publishing.
Becattini, G., Bellandi, M., & De Propris, L. (Eds.). (2009). A handbook of industrial districts. Edward Elgar Publishing.
Defourny, J., & Nyssens, M. (2017). Fundamentals for an international typology of social enterprise models. Voluntas, 28(6), 2469-2497.
Felber, C. (2019). Change everything: Creating an economy for the common good. Zed Books Ltd.
Institute of Positive Economy. (2021). L’indice de positivité des territoires. https://www.institut-economiepositive.com/indices-de-positivite/territoires/
Lieder, M., & Rashid, A. (2016). Towards circular economy implementation: a comprehensive review in context of manufacturing industry. Journal of cleaner production, 115, 36-51.
Carlos Mendez, University of Strathclyde, UK
Lukasz Damurski, Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Poland
The rise of the geography of discontent reflects a growing trend of social and political dissatisfaction across cities and regions. This perspective highlights the fact certain areas face challenges that breed social and political grievances and frustrations. This growing discontent is fuelled by numerous factors including inequality, globalization, cultural tensions, and political polarization. Recognizing the spatial dimension of discontent underscore the need for more effective territorial development and governance strategies at EU, national and local levels to promote greater social cohesion and inclusive development. The meaningful involvement of citizens in territorial development processes can be achieved through democratic innovations, such as participatory budgeting, citizen consultations, and deliberative forums. Direct involvement in in decision-making can empower citizens to shape their communities and influence policies that impact their lives.
Over the past decade, there has been a wave of attempts to reinvent democracy, particularly at the local and regional levels of governance where proximity to public authorities is closer, implementation is smaller in scale and the stakes are often less intense. A growing body of literature has investigated the popularity of such participatory schemes among the public and the factors driving participation. However, current analyses remain fragmented, primarily examining the implementation of democratic innovations in specific cases and offering contradictory findings. There is less knowledge about the perceptions of democratic innovations among different stakeholder groups such as local authorities, civil society, NGOs, the media etc. Moreover, the geographical conditions that would potentially influence these actors and institutions to transition from delegating decision-making power to political elites, towards embracing a self-governing citizenry as a legitimate and valuable strategy remain underexplored.
This session invites papers that investigate participatory democratic innovations at the regional and local levels of governance supported by empirical data. We welcome contributions examining any form of democratic innovation employing quantitative and/or qualitative methodological approaches. Papers exploring the perceptions of stakeholders and citizens and effectiveness of democratic innovations are especially welcome. Potential themes that papers could address include but are not limited to the following:
a) The extent of public support for democratic innovations and the drivers of citizen participation
b) The perceptions of the public and stakeholders on the value of democratic innovations
c) The influence of participatory democratic innovations on public engagement across different regions and cities
d) The ways in which European Union, national and local policies can promote more effective citizen engagement in regional and urban development
Maria Tsouri, Mohn Centre for Innovation and Regional Development, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway
Nora Geirsdotter Bækkelund, Mohn Centre for Innovation and Regional Development, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway
Tom Brökel University of Stavanger Business School, Norway
National and supranational mission-oriented policies have pointed to the green transition in order to deal with one of the greatest global challenges, climate change. The ongoing green shift renders certain industries obsolete, while new industries relevant to the transition emerge, and old ones are undergoing a green shift. This paradigm shift results in the reshaping of regional labour markets and their skill demands in an unprecedented pace, triggered by the rapid evolution of green technological knowledge and its applications. However, the green shift of regional economies and their labour markets does not happen independently from the increasing digitalization of jobs and skills, the existing skill capabilities and specializations of regions, and the potential of the different industries and sectors towards technological innovation. Thus, the skills, knowledge, and capabilities existing in the regional labour markets evolve too, but this is a geographically uneven process. This place- and industry-specific reshaping increases the risks of labour shortages and related skills shortages hampering the green transition, but also of negative social consequences when certain skill-bases becomes obsolete.
Hence, this session welcomes all presentations that address the changes that regional labour markets are undergoing due to the green transition, and the mismatches created, from different perspectives. We welcome both quantitative and qualitative approaches dealing with labour market issues resulting from the green transformation.
The presentations in this special session may address, but are not limited to, the following topics:
• Theoretical approaches to the effects of the green transition on regional labour markets.
• Spatial and industrial labour mobility.
• Methodological approaches to detecting the regional skill needs and skill availability mismatches.
• Single or comparative case studies describing how the labour market dynamics of the green transition play out.
• Policy research on the environmental policy impact of the consistency of regional labour markets.
• Review and comparisons of supra-national, national and/or regional policies aiming for the reskilling of labour for the green shift.
Flavia Martinelli, Mediterranea University of Reggio Calabria, Italy
Chiara Corazziere, Mediterranea University of Reggio Calabria, Italy
Since its inception the European cohesion policy framework has stressed the need for bottom-up and area-based forms of integrated and strategic development policy, i.e. what has been variously labelled as the ‘community-led’, ‘place-based’ and/or ‘territorially integrated’ local development approach. The underlying principle is that the empowerment of subnational – even sub-regional – territorial communities for policy making is more effective than top-down policies, because local actors are better capable of identifying, and designing answers to, local needs. This approach was born with the LEADER programme for rural areas in the early 1990s, but was subsequently embraced in other EU Cohesion policy programmes for less developed regions, becoming a leading strategy in the EU ‘Territorial Agendas’. The approach has evolved over time and has been differently applied across EU Member states, with some countries supporting it more than others.
After 30 years of experimentation, it is now possible to draw some lessons from this experience and assess whether the new approach has indeed contributed to change the governance of development policy – by creating new relationships and trust among local actors, by empowering local communities, and by integrating different local instances – and whether it has ultimately made development policy more effective. In this perspective, the proposed Special Session seeks to address the following questions:
• How has the community-based local development approach evolved over the successive EU Cohesion Policy cycles? Can we identify a coherent trajectory of progressive strengthening and fine-tuning? Or rather a decline in emphasis?
• Are there differences in the support and in the implementation procedures across EU countries? Can comparisons be made?
• What are the factors – whether economic, social, and/or institutional; exogenous and/or endogenous – that can account for the success or the failure of community-based local development programmes?
Accordingly, the Special Session especially welcomes contributions tackling: theoretical/conceptual reviews of the approach; cross-regional comparative evaluations; historical trajectories of specific programmes; case studies.
Madeleine Eriksson Umeå University, Sweden
Bryonny Goodwin-Hawkins University of Gloucestershire, UK
Certain places and people are viewed as prosperous and progressive – as core. Yet, simultaneously, more places than ever are depicted as weak, struggling or straggling, and in need of support from stronger regions or the state. Accordingly, some ‘non-core’ places and regions also hold a position in the national imaginary in which spatially unequal opportunities become obscured and the problems of the region are blamed on the people living there. Some of these places have become so-called ‘geographies of discontent’; all of them should matter.
In recent years, a renewed and lively scholarship on spatial inequalities and just regional futures has seen an old language of ‘lagging regions’ give way to new conceptual interest in ‘edges’, ‘margins’, and ‘peripheries’. These concepts can help evoke the multi-dimensional and multi-scalar social, spatial, economic, environmental, and temporal processes that shape how peripheries are produced, reproduced, imagined, and experienced. Concepts can also become mired in contested meanings or wander vaguely and become fuzzy. We need edgy concepts – but which, why, and to what purpose?
This special session invites papers and commentaries that critically focus on conceptualising peripheries and peripherality. We seek ‘edgy’ interventions that debate:
a. Which old and new concepts are needed to advance research on peripheries and peripherality in Regional Studies?
b. How can the ways multi-dimensional processes of uneven development are produced, reproduced, and resisted in core-periphery relationships be conceptualised?
c. What we can learn from heterodox perspectives and interdisciplinary lenses?
d. How do edgy concepts (and edgy research) inform just alternatives for future policy and practice?
David Waite University of Glasgow, UK
Richard Crisp Sheffield Hallam University, UK
Andy Pike, CURDS, Newcastle University, UK
Danny MacKinnon, CURDS, Newcastle University, UK
Anne Green, University of Birmingham, UK
There is surging interest in how local and regional economic development can be configured to support wider environmental and social objectives alongside or beyond growth. A suite of alternative approaches including inclusive growth, inclusive economy, wellbeing economy, community wealth building, doughnut economics and the foundational economy are challenging the primacy of ‘traditional’ growth-first approaches. Proponents of post-growth and degrowth argue further that the acute challenges of the current “polycrisis” demand radical ruptures in economic development orthodoxies, actively advocating for a reduced, stagnating or declining rate of growth as an explicit policy goal.
The growing traction of these approaches raises questions about how they are understood, implemented, governed and evaluated at local and regional scales. Where these approaches are being adopted by local and regional policymakers, they are often melded or fused together in ‘pick and mix’ type approaches. For example, a wellbeing economy might be operationalised, in part, through a set of community wealth building interventions. The practical implementation of these agendas also require us to consider the often thorny and complex governance arrangements and associated local policy levers that shape adoption and implementation. This includes consideration of the mix of actors and institutions advocating for, adopting and operationalising these ideas as well as the varying and potentially overlapping or nested spatial scales (neighbourhood, local, sub-regional, regional) through which these approaches are governed and implemented. Finally, there is a need to examine how these approaches are being monitored and evaluated to understand whether they are delivering on the visions of change they promote.
We welcome papers that address, but are not limited to the following:
• Theoretical or conceptual contributions that explore the nature of, and potential complementarities, tensions, trade-offs and contradictions within or across these alternative approaches.
• Empirical explorations of how these approaches are being understood, adopted and implemented by institutions and actors in different geographical settings.
• The relationship between ‘alternative’ and ‘traditional’ approaches to economic development and how these are navigated within and across institutions in different local and regional contexts.
• The extent and nature of community involvement in defining and shaping strategies and interventions
• The (lack of) evidence on the effectiveness of these approaches and potential methodological advances or innovations that might facilitate better understanding of outcomes and impacts
• Reflections on where the approaches stem from both temporally (e.g. antecedents and etymological origins) and spatially (e.g. cross-national pollination of ideas or policy transfers).
• Comparative insights that consider how different cities and regions have adopted these approaches.
• The roles of key protagonists in advocating for, or implementing, these approaches and the potential tensions between fidelity to a ‘pure’ approach and pragmatic considerations that may be seen as dilution or co-option.
Gabriela-Carmen Pascariu Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Romania
Karima Kourtit Open University, Heerlen, The Netherlands
Peter Nijkamp Open University, Heerlen, The Netherlands
Alexandra Cehan Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Romania
With a history of almost half a century, the resilience thinking is currently integrated in various sciences, from various perspectives, shock resistance and responsiveness being common and central topics in the literature on regional development (Kourtit & Nijkamp, 2021) and a dominant approach in the growth strategies and policies. However, covering different aspects, at different scales or for different communities, resilience is still an evolving concept (Ostarkova and Stanickova, 2021), difficult to integrate in evidence based policies (Pascariu et al., 2021). One of the most controversial relationship, in the light of the last two decades of crises, is related with the long practice of the tourism led growth policies, especially for countries and regions in difficulty of finding other opportunities to create comparative advantages and integration into the international economy, with a relatively high capacity of economic multiplication and dynamism (Ferrari, Mondéjar Jiménez and Secondi, 2018; Zhang et al., 2007 ).
Overall, the tourism is one of the most dynamic industries, with a growth rate above the average of the global economic growth. For example, between 2011 and 2019, tourism growth was of 3.5% per year, while the global economy grew by 2.5% (UNWTO, 2020). Furthermore, it was observed that in the situation of shocks, the tourism sector is very sensitive, having a low resistance, but returns faster to pre-crisis growth rates than other economic sectors, showing a high capacity for recovery (Pascariu et al., 2021). Thus, tourism introduces a function of stability in economic growth, strengthening the resilience performance of countries and regions through its own dynamics, resilience and linkages with other sectors. (Cortés-Jiménez, 2008; Bellini, Grillo, Lazzeri and Pasquinelli, 2017).
However, the law resistance of the tourism generates GDP and jobs’ de-multiplication effects in times of crisis, amplifying economic cyclicality. In addition, the Covid 19 crisis has highlighted key vulnerabilities of the tourism industry and additional challenges for sustainable development and the resilience –based policies in the tourist destinations.
This special session aims to address some of these key issues, bringing together new theoretical approaches and empirical research results focused on, but not limited to:
– Theoretical developments of the resilience concept and methodologies;
– Tourism Led-Growth Patterns: A Questionable Relationship in the Context of Multiple Shocks;
– The relation between the tourism and regional development beyond the classical tourism-led growth policies;
– Tourism resilience and regional development;
– Resilient tourism destinations and sustainability:
– Interferences: tourism resilience – economic recovery – regional development and convergence;
– Resilience-based policies and tourism.
Accepted papers for this session could be submitted for publication in a regular issue of Eastern Journal of European Studies (https://ejes.uaic.ro/), journal indexed in Clarivate Analytics, Scopus, Index Copernicus, ProQuest, DOAJ databases.
Bellini N., Grillo F., Lazzeri G. and Pasquinelli C. (2017). Tourism and regional economic resilience from a policy perspective: lessons from smart specialization strategies in Europe. European Planning Studies, DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2016.1273323, retrieved 28 October 2021
Cortés-Jiménez, I. (2008). Which type of tourism matters to the regional economic growth? The cases of Spain and Italy. Int. J. Tourism Res., 10: 127-139. https://doi.org/10.1002/jtr.646, retrieved 28 October 2021
Fabry, N., & Zeghni, S. (2019). Resilience, tourist destinations and governance: An analytical framework. In Tourismes et adaptations (pp. 96–108).
Kourtit, K. & Nijkamp, P. (2021). Editorial: Resilience in the Space-Economy – in search of the X factor. Eastern Journal of European Studies, 12, Special Issue, pp. 5-11.
Ostárková, J. & Stanickova, M. (2021). How well do we know the issue of resilience? Literary research of current levels of knowledge. Eastern Journal of European Studies, 12, Special Issue, pp. 12-42.
Pascariu G.C., Ibănescu BC., Nijkamp P., Kourtit K. (2021). Tourism and Economic Resilience: Implications for Regional Policies. In: Suzuki S., Kourtit K., Nijkamp P. (eds) Tourism and Regional Science. New Frontiers in Regional Science: Asian Perspectives, vol 53. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-3623-3_8
UNWTO. (2020). European Union Tourism Trends. Retrieved from https://www.e-unwto.org/doi/epdf/10.18111/9789284419470
Zhang, J., Madsen, B. & Jensen-Butler C. (2007) Regional Economic Impacts of Tourism: The Case of Denmark, Regional Studies, 41:6, 839-854, DOI: 10.1080/00343400701281733
Maria Tsouri, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway
Ridvan Cinar, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway
Laura Norris, Cardiff University, UK
Over the past four decades, universities have been recognized as significant actors in fostering regional innovation and contributing into local (economic) development in places where they are located. Earlier conceptualizations of the role of universities in innovation and regional development emphasized commercialization activities, technology transfer, investing in start-ups and technological innovation. More recently, however, due to policy demands, they are increasingly playing an active role in regional sustainability. With ever-evolving public and policy impact mission, Universities are collaborating with broader segments of society (public institutions, NGOs, etc.) and contribute to different types of innovation (e.g., social, green etc.), through collaborations in the pre-commercialization stage. While new demands have emerged due to several complex societal challenges, the emphasis on older demands have not lost their validity and legitimacy. This raises the question of how higher education institutions are coping with the proliferation of institutional and policy demands, why they prioritize certain demands over others, and how they adapt to the newer demands particularly relating to regional sustainability transitions and smart specialisation.
Hence, this session welcomes all presentations that address the role of the universities in regional innovation, regional development, and sustainability transitions from different perspectives. We welcome both quantitative and qualitative approaches on this subject, which may address (but are not limited to) the following topics:
• Theoretical and conceptual research on the positioning of universities in zero-carbon regional systems of the future;
• Methodological approaches on defining the enhanced role of universities in a sustainable future;
• Empirical research comparing the role of universities in different regions in terms of innovation, regional development, and sustainability transitions;
• Identifying the roles of higher education institutions in regional and innovation policies;
• Examining collaboration facilitated by universities to enable innovation.
Riccardi Crescenzi, London School of Economics, UK
Davide Rigo, London School of Economics, UK
From the early days of the COVID-19 crisis, throughout the resulting lockdowns and continuing into the present, work-from-home (WFH) has been a necessary practice for many firms and workers. The transition to home-based work and videoconferencing has potentially altered firms’ and workers’ incentives for colocation, which form the basis of agglomeration economies and are key determinants of the geography of innovation (Storper and Venables, 2004) and, ultimately, of regional development (Bailey et al. 2021). The rise in homeworking due to COVID-19 has disrupted the need for geographical proximity between workers and their workplaces by enabling firms to tap into non-local labour markets (Baldwin and Forslid, 2020). Teleworking may become a catalyst for a reorganisation of work, pushing companies and their employees to relocate away from congested and expensive cities (Nathan and Overman, 2020; Bloom and Ramani, 2021; Bergeaud et al., 2023). As a result, teleworking may contribute to rebalancing regional disparities, with core regions and urban areas losing the collective benefits of inter-firm and workers ‘buzz’ (Althoff et al., 2022; Gupta et al., 2022), while second-tier cities and rural areas gaining momentum thanks to their cost advantage and amenities appeal to teleworkers. At the same time, the risk is that the opportunities offered by WFH and digital technologies in terms of access to spatial flexibility and resilience remain mostly confined to large firms and advanced regions that can leverage better ICT infrastructure and where firms and workers often benefit from superior organisational and technological capabilities (Bond-Smith and McCann, 2022; Crescenzi, Giua and Rigo, 2022).
This special session encourages the submission of papers (quantitative, qualitative and/or conceptual) looking at the WFH revolution and its implications for firms, labour markets, cities and regions. We are also particularly interested in new evidence on the fundamental and permanent effects of WFH on modern regional economies that may inform public interventions and the definition of appropriate evidence-based policies.
List of topics to be presented in the special session.
This special session aims to collect studies addressing the following research questions:
– What are the effects of WFH on firms’ performance and the organisation of their activities in space, across cities, regions and countries?
– Which are the fundamental and permanent effects of WFH on agglomeration economies (labour markets and knowledge spillovers)?
– Does the WFH revolution favour certain types of places over others? Does WFH make all places more equal in terms of development opportunities? Which are the factors that may reinforce or mitigate the effect of WFH on current regional inequalities?
– What can local and regional policies do in order to facilitate the digital transition?
Althoff, L., Eckert, F., Ganapati, S., and Walsh, C. (2022). The geography of remote work. Regional Science and Urban Economics, 93, 103770.
Bailey, D., Crescenzi, R., Roller, E., Anguelovski, I., Datta, I., & Harrison, J. (2021). Regions in Covid-19 recovery, Regional Studies, 55:12, 1955-1965
Baldwin, R. and Forslid, R. (2020). Globotics and development: when manufacturing is jobless and services tradeable, National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper, No. w26731.
Bergeaud, A., Eyméoud, J. B., Garcia, T., and Henricot, D. (2023). Working from home and corporate real estate. Regional Science and Urban Economics, 99, 103878.
Bond-Smith, S., and McCann, P. (2022). The work-from-home revolution and the performance of cities. Unpublished manuscript.
Crescenzi, R., Giua, M. and Rigo (2021). How many jobs can be done at home? Not so many! LSE Geography and Environment Discussion Paper Series, No. 37.
Gupta, A., Mittal, V., and Van Nieuwerburgh, S. (2022). Work from home and the office real estate apocalypse. National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper, No. w30526.
Nathan, M. and Overman, H. (2020). Will coronavirus cause a big city exodus? Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science, 47(9):1537–1542.
Ramani, A. and Bloom, N. (2021). The Donut effect of COVID-19 on cities. National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper, No. w28876.
Storper, M. and Venables, A. J. (2004). Buzz: face-to-face contact and the urban economy. Journal of Economic Geography, 4(4), 351-370.