Call for papers: RSA Winter Conference 2015

14 Sep 2015
Call for papers: RSA Winter Conference 2015

The Regional Studies Association (RSA) 2015 Winter Conference will take place in London from 19 to 20 November. 

This conference provides a platform for scholars across the globe to address great transformations taking place across our economic, political, and social spheres amidst heightened uneven development and inequality in a post-crisis era of ongoing market liberalisation, financialisation, global competition and changing patterns of regulation and governance. The world has continued to witness highly differentiated shifts in socio-economic relations in the recovery from the global financial crisis (GFC), with some places benefiting, while others have seen a worsening of problems. The inter-related processes of industrialisation, urbanisation, and regional and local development are now becoming increasingly complex and pose a major challenge, firstly for our conceptualisations of regional and urban development and, secondly, for specifying appropriate policy fixes to 'hold down' the global and provide the atmosphere for sustained economic growth.

This 2015 Winter Conference, in the fiftieth year of the Regional Studies Association, presents a timely opportunity to discuss these issues, to establish the need and nature of future research imperatives, and to address the concerns and challenges confronting policymakers and practitioners. The conference organisers are keen to attract papers and sessions that address a broad research and policy agenda, including contributions from any discipline which can offer relevant insights associated with the recasting of our cities and regions.

Plenary & Panel Sessions

State of Play in Regional Theory:

  • Professor Allen Scott, UCLA, USA
  • Professor Michael Storper, London School of Economics, UK, Sciences-Po, France and UCLA, USA
  • Professor Ron Martin, University of Cambridge, UK

Research and Policy in Europe:

  • Professor Kevin Morgan, Cardiff University, UK
  • Dirk Ahner, European Commission, Belgium

Policy and the Evidence Trail:

  • Professor Martin Jones, University of Sheffield, UK
  • Professor Ann Markusen, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, USA
  • Professor Ray Hudson, Durham University, UK

The Broad Themes

A. Regional and urban development theory revisited
Agglomeration, clusters and new cumulative causations; territorial patterns of competitiveness, innovation, entrepreneurship and adaptability; trade and regions

B. City and regional governance for a post-crisis age
Devolution, constitutional change and economic governance; multi-level governance; leadership; trust and accountability

C. Growing apart? The increase in social and spatial inequality
Causes and consequences of greater inequality; geographical divides in wealth and poverty; the decline in the urban commons; people policies versus place policies

D. Evidence-based urban and regional policies
Data, methodology and rigour in regional studies; big data and urban and regional analysis; translating analysis into policy

E. Smart cities, smart regions?
Constructing dynamic competitive advantage; creating new pathways of development; the specialisation versus diversification debate; advanced manufacturing and regional renewal

F. Financing city and regional development
Financial systems and funding regional investment; is there a case for local capital markets? The geographies of venture capital and private equity; national investment banks

G. Infrastructure and urban and regional development
The role of infrastructure in regional and city growth; new models of financing public infrastructures; foreign ownership of infrastructures

H. Human capital and cities and regions
The new geographies of jobs; changing skills and patterns of work; reskilling regions and cities; the future of local labour market

For more information on conference logistics, fees and registration, please visit the RSA 2015 Winter Conference website. The deadline for the submission of 400-word abstracts is 20 September 2015.

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