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IAS Workshop - The Knowledge Based Economy and the Re-Invention of Regions

Date: 1-2 June 2006

Urban governance and the spatial form of the Western European national state have been changing radically in the last twenty years. Economic restructuring, globalisation and the processes of European integration have emphasised the role of urban/regional production systems as a way of gaining competitiveness, and therefore wealth, for states in the European economy. In a world where the national state is no longer the primary scale of organising the economy, states have been increasingly rescaling some of their functions upwards (e.g. monetary policy to the European Union) and downwards (e.g. regionalisation and devolution of British and European policies). Thus, the region has become an important scale of both economic and political action.However, as these strategies have been increasingly dominated by growing belief that a new knowledge-based-economy (KBE) is emerging, what constitutes the region has been challenged and transformed. Rather than assuming KBE processes to be spatially bounded - e.g. the region - it is understood have an unbounded form - e.g. the network. Hence, it is argued that the regional spaces of the KBE are polycentric networks interconnected with other places.As scalar regional strategies are increasingly dismissed by either inter-local networked ones (e.g. city-regions networks), this workshop intended to explore and discuss these developments. The emphasis was on opportunities to provoke and get feedback rather than on presentation of finished papers.

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Organising departments and research centres: Institute for Advanced Studies


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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