Questioning Regional Development Approaches in a Context of Heightened Territorial Inequalities

The 5th Geography of Innovation Conference
There is an ongoing debate within the academic and policy community, regarding whether territorial inequalities are problematic, and if so, about which instruments are more appropriate to deal with them (Barca et al 2012; Pike et al 2016). The reality is that decades of regional policy both within national contexts such as the UK, Germany or Italy, and at the European scale, have been mostly insufficient to reverse or, in many cases, even tamper regional inequalities (Barca 2009; Martin et al 2016). Though one might argue that this is merely because the instruments used so far have been inadequate, the current context of heightened territorial inequalities and political turmoil has led us to revisit two fundamental questions: should academics and policymakers worry about territorial inequalities? If the answer is yes, one should then question which public policy approaches are most likely to work and in what way?

Stavanger (Noruega)
Pedro Marques, Kevin Morgan