Online project meeting (31.03-01.04. 2020)

Due to the restrictions on travel caused by the coronavirus pandemic, ACORE Cardiff team has organised an online project meeting. All project teams have participated in the meeting and contributed to the discussion on the progress of individual projects and the joint research.

The first-day programme focused on individual projects. Each researcher gave a brief account of the advancement of her/his research project, including advancing the theoretical argument, refining research questions, and settling the methodological framework. Moreover, they have summarised the progress of their empirical work and laid a plan for furthering field work, with a view of entering the analysis stage in 2020 and linking research to planned publication and dissemination activities. The discussion that followed the presentations revolved around the following key themes:

  1. conceptual issues such as defining change and development, relations of narratives and real-world processes, scalar-relational understanding of agency, and relating in-depth, locally-focused analysis to wider processes of change;
  2. Operationalising change, agency, structure and dealing issues of lagging indicator and attribution;
  3. problems of methodology such as choosing and combining relevant methods to grasp dynamic structure-agency relations, addressing gaps of data, and reflecting on the positionality of researcher and research ethics.

The second-day discussion focused on the overarching themes, joint publication and disseminations activities, and shared issues that researcher face during various stages of project work. The following topic appeared prominently in the discussion.

  1. developing the common conceptual framework further in order to respond to emerging issues, such as: agents and their relations, balancing national/locally focused case studies, and the overall international comparative approach;
  2. reflecting upon the emergent situations, such as the pandemic and its consequences, and the Brexit;
  3. planning and preparing joint publication activities, including an edited volume and a special issue.

Call for papers – British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES) Regional Conference

Topic: ’Globalising Eastern Europe – New Perspectives on Transregional Entanglements’

The call for papers for the BASEES – EEGA conference is open!

The British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES) organises its second Regional Conference in cooperation with the Leibniz ScienceCampus “Eastern Europe – Global Area” (EEGA) in September 2020, in Leipzig, Germany. Under the theme “Globalising Eastern Europe – New Perspectives on Transregional Entanglements”, we seek to stimulate and discuss research on these border-crossing encounters in a comparative perspective. Aiming to stimulate a debate about interpretations across historical periods and geographical spaces, the conference brings together perspectives and case studies from a variety of disciplines. In thematic panels, round table discussions and interactive workshops dedicated to knowledge transfer and innovative science communication, about 100 international junior and senior scholars present their research on Eastern Europe, an area spanning from Poland in the West to Russia in the East, to the Balkans and the Caucasus in the South, in its global and transregional entanglements.

We invite participants for the debate on ’Reindustrialization and the agents of new centralities and peripheralities in non-metropolitan spaces of Central and Eastern Europe’ in the panel session organised by the ACORE team!

Growth, polarization, depndencies – urban recovery and uneven development on the periphery (Békéscsaba, 06.December, 2019)

A workshop was co-organised by the network of economic geographers and the Centre for Economic and Regional Studies ACORE team to discuss the multiplicity of trajectories of economic recovery in old industrial towns, to reveal agencies and social relations driving reindustrialization, and highlight social and environmental conflicts stemming from change. The three cases (Tatabánya, Dunaújváros, Martfű) presented at the workshop embody different paths of re/industrialization, yet all faced deep and subsequent structural crises that were responded by local agents by mobilizing endogenous resources, their relational assets and external capital. The change raised new dependencies, inequalities and risks that question the sustainability of new economic trajectories and make the new centrality of the discussed towns ambiguous.

The discussion of diverse local trajectories and their national and global/peripheral context supported unfolding the ACORE case studies and developing the analytical framework for the field work results – considering the multiplicity of agencies, dependencies, and centralities/peripheralities, challenging binary thinking.

OECD-KDI Workshop on Innovation Diffusion (Paris, 13 December, 2019)

This workshop focused on diffusion of innovation at the regional and firm levels. While innovation is a key factor of productivity and long-term growth, the ability to innovate varies across regions and organisations and depends on the capacity to absorb external knowledge, the size of a firm, regional knowledge base, and institutional capacity of a region. As a rule, SMEs are not as innovative as ‘frontier’ firms because they are constrained by limited resources, the rigidity of the labour market, and poor connections to other firms and research centres. At the regional level, barriers to innovation diffusion include path-dependence and various lock-ins.

From ACORE’s perspective, research should engage more actively with less developed regions and sectors, instead of focusing on leading regions and frontier firms (and expecting ‘lagging’ regions and firms to catch up and replicate their success). We treat peripherality as a complex condition that involves multiple dependencies between ‘centres’ and ‘peripheries’. To understand the process of novelty creation in less developed regions, ACORE conceptualises innovation as inclusive, socially embedded, and actor-driven. Innovation should not be confined to firms, products, and processes but also include areas of governance, institutional design, and policy. ACORE contribution to the OECD workshop was provided by Nadir Kinossian.

Forthcoming conference papers by project partners

  • Píša, J. (2019) Looking for change in old-industrial towns: but what kind of change? 4th workshop of the Young Economic Geographers Network (YEGN) Regional Development and Peripheral Regions held at Umeå University, 20th-21st of August 2019.
  • Nagy, E, Nagy, G. (2019) Consumption-centred urban restructuring as a source for citizenship? Understanding state-society relations in a peripheral context. RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, London 27th-30th of August, 2019.
  • Mihály, M. (2019) Mapping the environmental and social conflicts of the economic restructuring in a formerly model socialist city. 8th International Urban Geographies of Post-communist States Conference, Belgrade, Sept. 25-29, 2019
  • Nagy, E, Nagy, G. (2019) The visible hand in the making of CEE periphery: state agency and unfolding multiple dependencies in non-metropolitan industrial enclaves in Hungary. 8th International Urban Geographies of Post-communist States Conference, Belgrade, Sept. 25-29, 2019

A workshop on social agencies in local development at Corvinus University, Buadpest

A joint workshop of ‘Socio-spatial inequalities’ horizontal network of CERS HAS and the Corvinus University, Budapest; organised by Melinda Mihály, focused on social social agencies in innovation and local economic restructuring; Corvinus University, Budapest, 30/05/2019; /for and overview, see:  

Call for papers – GEOINNO2010, Stavanger, 29-31 January 2020

The call for papers for the 5th Geography of Innovation Conference is now open!

We invite authors to submit extended abstracts for the special session on Innovation and Regional Transformation: Change Agency and Opportunity Spaces organised by Markus Grillitsch Nadir Kinossian and Markku Sotarauta

Session description:

We welcome submissions of full papers and extended abstracts (minimum three pages). All submissions (regular and special sessions) must be made electronically via this website. Deadline: 31st August 2019

All submissions will be peer-reviewed: For regular sessions, papers and extended abstracts will be reviewed by a members of the scientific or  organising committee. For special sessions, papers and extended abstracts will be reviewed by the special session organisers. The results will be sent individually to each submitting author.

Conference web site:

Opening Workshop 24-26 February 2019, Leipzig

Opening Workshop of the ACORE project will take place on the 24th-26th February, 2019 at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL) Schongauerstraße 9, 04328 Leipzig.

We are very happy to announce that we have Professor Robert Hassink as a keynote speaker at the Opening Workshop. The topic of the talk is “Locked in Lock-Ins? Theorizing on the Restructuring of Old Industrial Regions”.

Robert Hassink is Professor of Economic Geography at Kiel University in Germany ( and Visiting Professor in the School of Geography, Politics & Sociology at Newcastle University, UK. His research focuses on theories and paradigms of economic geography, industrial restructuring and regional economic development, creative industries, and regional innovation policy.

For the details, see the flyer.