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2017 RSA Annual Conference Discuss & Debate Sessions

the Great Regional Awakening: New Directions

Brexit, Trump & the Dusk of Globalisation? New Directions in Economic & Financial Geography

Special FinGEO Panel

Session organiser(s)

Martin Sokol, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland: Dariusz Wojcik, Oxford University, UK: Confirmed panellists: Saskia Sassen, Columbia University, USA Dariusz Wojcik, University of Oxford, UK Ron Martin, University of Cambridge, UK Sabine Dörry, Luxemburg Institute of Socio-Economic Research, Luxemburg Gary Dymski, Leeds University Business School, UK Edgar Morgenroth, The Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin, Ireland Chair: Martin Sokol, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

This session will explore new economic-political landscapes following the shock victories of Brexit and Trump and will reflect on their global, regional and local implications. Is globalisation going into reverse? What consequences will this have for local and regional economies? What does BrexiTrump mean for global cities and for the architecture and regulation of global finance? There is an urgent need to reflect on some of the challenges posed by these tectonic events, both for economic and financial geography and for global society. Come and join the debate!

This event is sponsored by the Regional Studies Association Research Network on Financial Geography/Global Network on Financial Geography (FinGeo) –

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Planning in the Metropolitan Century

Session organiser(s)

Niamh Moore-Cherry, University College Dublin, Ireland John Tomaney, University College London, UK

Confirmed Panellists: Paul Hogan, National Planning Framework, Department of Housing & Planning, Ireland Alexander Lembcke, Urban Programme, OECD, France Niamh Moore-Cherry, University College Dublin, Ireland Anna Rose, Director of Growth, Economy & Culture, Milton Keynes Council & President of the UK Planning Officers Society, UK David Wachsmuth, McGill University, Canada

Chair: John Tomaney, University College London, UK

By the end of the 21st century, most of the world’s population will be urbanized and increasingly concentrated in large cities. The OECD argue that for each doubling in population size, the economic performance of cities increases by 2-5%. This would suggest that we are entering an era of bigger cities and a concomitant rise in the importance of metropolitan scale planning and development. However the OECD also highlighted the need to overcome jurisdictional fragmentation in order to achieve effective metropolitan governance.  Within this context:

  • What are the major planning challenges that will face national governments, city governments and urban residents?
  • What are the major barriers facing and opportunities brought about by enhanced metropolitanisation?
  • How can smaller cities learn from already-existing major metropolitan regions?

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Open Access Publishing with the RSA

Quickly Reach a Wider Audience, Publish

Session organiser(s)

Regional Studies, Regional Science Editors-in-Chief Alasdair Rae, University of Sheffield, UK Stephen Hincks, University of Manchester, UK


This panel session will be hosted by the Editors of Regional Studies, Regional Science, the RSA’s gold open access journal. Editors-in-Chief Stephen Hincks and Alasdair Rae will discuss ‘the state of open’ more generally, the successes of RSRS to date, and clarify the rationale and objectives of open access publishing. We will present some findings on the open access publishing landscape by means of some analysis of data from the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Now into our fourth year of publication since launching at the UCLA conference in late 2013, RSRS has published some of the most-read papers in our field during that time and offers authors a range of publication options, from standard-length papers of around 8,000 words to short regional graphics with commentary. We have also published work by scholars at all career stages, from PhD to Professor. We encourage everyone to attend and we make a renewed call for papers. We look forward to seeing you to this session.

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Smart Specialisation and Evolutionary Economic Geography

Essential Symbiosis in Order to Advance the Agenda?

Session organiser(s)

Mark Deakin, Edinburgh Napier University, UK: Luca Mora, Politecnico di Milano, Italy: Dieter F. Kogler, University College Dublin, Ireland:

Chair: Dieter F. Kogler, University college Dublin, Ireland

Proposed Panellists:  Bjørn T. Asheim, University of Stavanger, Norway and Lund University, Sweden Ron Boschma, Utrecht University, the Netherlands Jennifer Clark, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA Mark Deakin, Edinburgh Napier University, UK Ricardo Hausmann, Harvard University, USA Martin Henning, University of Gothenburg, Sweden Nicos Komninos, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Andy Pike, Newcastle University, UK

This session will explore how recent progress in the field of Evolutionary Economic Geography can support the ambiguous European project of “Smart Specialisation”.  Here the focus is directed at science and technology domains and in particular at their presence and connectedness at a given place.  However, much of the evidence supporting Smart Specialisation theories is anecdotal.  Evolutionary Economic Geography on the other hand is working on a number of systematic approaches capable of identifying the local knowledge bases, while also measuring how relatedness among such domains advances over time in a path-dependent fashion.  Based on this the following idea has been put forward: if one manages to quantify domain and connectedness, ceteris paribus, one should also be able to predict future trajectories of regional development, and thus be able to advise regions in what areas of economic activity to invest on order to create a competitive edge that rests on local scientific and technological expertise that is difficult to replicate elsewhere.  Panellist will discuss the feasibility of such an idea in light of recent theoretical and empirical advancements.

This event is sponsored by the Centre of Spatial Dynamics at University College Dublin and the ERC Technology Evolution in Regional Economies (TechEvo) project.

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Ensuring a Rigorous and Effective Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies

Session organiser(s)

Juan Martinez-Covarrubias, Economist for the Three Regional Assemblies, Ireland (Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly, Southern Regional Assembly, Northern and Western Regional Assembly)

Chair: Malachy Bradley, Assistant Director/Senior Planner, Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly, Ireland


David Meredith, Senior Research Officer, Teagasc, Agriculture and Food Development Authority, Ireland. Brendan Williams, Assistant Professor in Planning and Environmental Policy, University College Dublin, Ireland. Alma Walsh, Planning Adviser, National Planning Framework, Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Ireland. Clare Bannon, Senior Executive Planner, Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly, Ireland Caroline Creamer, Director, International Centre for Local and Regional Development (ICLRD), National University Ireland, Maynooth.

Audience: RSES team, Regional studies experts, spatial scientists, economists, business studies scholars, political scientists, local development specialists, urban geographers, spatial planners, transport experts, development studies scholars, environmentalists, sociologists, economic geographers, financial geographers, academics, researchers and practitioners alike.


Discussing the policy process

What Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies are, and their expected value to ensure sustainable progress.

Outlining in broad terms what characterises a robust and effective Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy and recognising key specifics required, including evidence base.

International comparison to other contexts, identifying and analysing best practices to determine their suitability to the Irish context.

Aims & Expected Outcomes: Audience will have the opportunity to identify and discuss the key principles that will enable an effective formulation, implementation, monitoring and delivery of RSESs in Ireland.

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Developing the RSA Regions Ezine

Session organiser(s)

Michael Taster, University of Sheffield, UK

All RSA members are invited to join this forum concerning the new RSA Regions Ezine

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