Institutions, Governance and Regional Development: Rethinking Local Economic Development from the Peripheries

30th September – 1 st October 2019, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia

Abstract submission deadline: 7 th June 2019

Much of our understanding of local economic development is based on large urban agglomerations as nodes of innovation and competitive advantage that connect territories to global value chains. This framework not only overrepresents the urban and regional dynamics of cities of the global North, it also fails to address the challenges of smaller cities and peripheral regions in both the North and the South. These cities and regions can be following different development trajectories and modes of insertion to the global economy while still subject to the forces of globalisation, financialisation and planetary urbanisation that affect large urban agglomerations. This can be seen not only as a worrying gap in the literature, but also as a problem for practitioners in small and intermediate cities. Theories and policies that seek to support the ascent of global city-regions, such as export zones, high-tech clusters, and business and talent attraction strategies do not transfer well to the economic development reality of smaller cities and peripheral regions. This is where planners are striving to diversify their economic base in the face of youth migration to large urban centres, to improve public-private synergies in the context of low levels of trust or to manage the environmental consequences of extractive industries.

The 2019 RSA Latin American Division Conference in Bogotá will focus on understanding the formal and informal institutional processes through which local economic development occurs. It will have a particular emphasis on peripheral regions and small and medium-sized cities, both in the global North and the South, as well as on how the relationship between areas with large agglomerations, both domestic and globally, affect their opportunities for development. Despite decades of local and regional development policies and planning, uneven development and inter-regional differences continue to persist between large urban agglomerations and peripheral regions. We seek papers that explore new and interdisciplinary theoretical and methodological approaches in regional studies to better capture the potential of institutions in local economic development, particularly when institutions are from the peripheries of local economic development debates. In this context, it is also crucial to understand how extractive economies, racial and patriarchal logics, infrastructure development or the increasing financialisation of the economy are affecting the local economic development possibilities of peripheral regions and cities around the globe.

Conference themes:

The conference will have sessions in English, Spanish and Portuguese, and we welcome abstracts in these three languages.

Submission Details: Please submit your abstract (up to 250 words and text only) through the RSA conference portal at Abstracts will be considered and reviewed by the Conference’s Committee against the criteria of originality, interest, subject balance and geographical spread. We also welcome Special Session submissions. Please see the separate Call for Special Sessions and email your proposal to Katharina Bürger,

Abstract submission deadline is 7 th June 2019.

Academic organisers: Sergio Montero (Universidad de los Andes, Colombia) Miguel Atienza (Universidad Católica del Norte, Chile) RSA

Conference Manager: Katharina Bürger,, +44 (0) 1273 698 017

More information at

Call for Early Career Plenary Speaker

We now seek applications from early career researchers (within 5 years after finishing their PhD) to present an Early Career Plenary Presentation at the forthcoming Regional Studies Association – Latin America Division Conference 2019. The proposed paper should be in line with the theme and topics of the conference.

The application should include the following:

• Name and contact details

• Place of employment

• Short version CV (4-page maximum)

• Up to 500-word abstract of the paper to be presented

• Short video (maximum 4 minutes) featuring you and an outline of the paper to be presented

• Evidence of eligibility to apply/PhD certificate – early career researchers are defined as being within 5 years after receiving their PhD certificate.

Videos filmed on a smartphone with reasonable clarity of vision and sound are perfectly acceptable for the purpose of the competition. Applicants should clearly present their name and institution in the video. They should outline their research, its relevance to the conference topics and explain why they should be selected for the plenary presentation.

The successful candidate will be informed as soon as possible following the closing date. The award includes a complimentary place at the conference, a contribution towards travel expenses and 2 nights’ accommodation.

Applicants are expected to be either an RSA member on application or to take out RSA membership on acceptance.

Early Career Plenary Speaker submission deadline: 10th May 2019, 23:59 (GMT)

Please email your application to Katharina Bürger at


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