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Access to interregional flows within and between countries is a statistical rarity worldwide. Even when focusing on trade of goods, where the data is more abundant, no country produces continuous estimations of intra and interregional flows within the country and with other countries, even those joining the same Free Trade Areas (e.g., the USMCA, former NAFTA) or Currency Unions (e.g., the UE27).

The literature on international trade, economic geography, and regional and urban economics includes a short list of research on countries like Canada, the United States, China, Germany, Russia, Brazil, the Netherlands, Spain, or France. Within these exceptions, the datasets used are hardly “official” in the sense that they are not produced by the main statistical offices of each country but by independent projects with some stability over the years. In most cases, the datasets used correspond to sparse samples that barely allow a continuous analysis for long periods and homogeneous spatial units. Most of these analyses only use interregional flows within the country or at most between two countries with a great intensity of flows. Very few papers have adopted a wider approach, including interregional flows between more than two countries. If this is the situation in trade of goods, the state of research on flows in the field of services, people, capital, and knowledge is much more dramatic.

The aim of this special issue is to fill this knowledge gap, shedding new light on the ongoing debates on the characteristics of interregional flows and their impacts on regional policies and territorial development in Europe and worldwide. The focus will be on the spatial interaction (flows) at the regional level, with special emphasis on concepts of economic integration, spatial spillovers, connectivity, adjacency, participation in global value chains, the unity of the internal market as a factor affecting the overall national performance, regional and national resilience, potential effects in the environmental sustainability, etc.

Some of the papers focusing on Europe are expected to explore the datasets generated within the ESPON IRiE project ( However, the special issue is open to a variety of data sources, geographical areas, quantitative methods, and types of flows that illustrate the relevance of the inter-regional dimension of flows and can show whether what is occurring in Europe can also be observed in other areas of the world.

Regional Studies is a leading international journal covering the development of theories and concepts, empirical analysis and policy debate in the field of regional studies. The journal publishes original research spanning the economic, social, political and environmental dimensions of urban and regional (subnational) change.’

Submissions may use quantitative and qualitative approaches, should be theoretically well grounded and must make clear their contribution to policy debates and the regional studies literature. Candidate papers for this special issue should address theoretical and/or empirical analysis considering inter-regional flows of any kind (goods, services, capital, migration, tourism, commuting, knowledge), considering regions as sub-national spatial entities within countries or between countries. Impact analyses using interregional frameworks, quantitative analyses related to processes of integration or disconnection in an interregional setup, as well as considerations of the effect of costs and administrative borders in such interactions are also suitable. The possibility of addressing intranational as well as international flows at these region-to-region levels would be also an asset.

Submission Instructions

Abstract deadline: 30 June 2023

Manuscript deadline: 30 December 2023

A cover letter and extended abstract of max. 500 words (plus key references) must be submitted by email to the Guest Editors.

Selected authors will be invited to submit full papers for peer review based on abstract submission. Full submissions will be subject to the journal’s usual peer review process. Authors should prepare their manuscript according to the journal’s instructions for authors prior to submitting their full paper for peer review:

The corresponding author should be clearly stated in the cover letter. All queries should be directed to the guest editors, Carlos Llano (, Daniel Rauhut (, Maria Tsiapa ( and Rodrigo V Cardoso (



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