Regional Studies Association: Research Seminar Series
Leadership & Sustainability in Europe: Where Now, What Next
Date: Thursday 12 & Friday 13 October 2023
Convenor: ESSCA EU*Asia Institute Ignazio Cabras and Thomas Hoerber, John Gibney (University of Birmingham), Joyce Liddle and John Shutt (Northumbria University), Martin Pelucha (Prague University of Economics and Business), and Markku Sotarauta (Tampere University).
Venue: ESSCA Campus Angers (1 rue Lakanal, Angers - France)
Across both coterminous (land) and non-coterminous (sea/river/lake) national borders around the globe, important networking and relationship-building activity that aims to stimulate co-creativity as well as knowledge exchange and learning for mutual benefit has been a longstanding feature of sub-national city and regional development. However, the strategic and operational conditions for transnational partnering, cooperation and development at the sub-national scale (between cities and regions) are not immune from emerging challenges across economy and society and environment. After the recent pandemic crisis, governments all over the world are still responding to multiple social and economic changes and other challenging events, such as the Ukrainian-Russian conflict, high inflation, and soaring energy prices.
The ongoing energy transition towards more sustainable way of living and consuming was heavily affected by these events, which created a rupture in the continuation of transformation of energy systems into low (zero)-carbon regime, as well as providing a formidable platform for a break-through leap from the old, carbon-based system. In such a context, the role of leaders and leadership roles are crucial in view of designing, developing, and delivering policies and initiatives. The European Union is an example of a region where public funding has already made a difference in energy transition. The European Green Deal, the most ambitious project to decarbonise the EU’s economy, and the Next Generation EU fund, created by the European Commission, provide a strategic the new multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027, to support the post-pandemic recovery as well as the green transition of EU members. But how are these initiatives doing? Who is leading or trailing in the process? And are there gaps to fill or excellences to promote in the transition across members and institutions?
This workshop aims to bring together an international community of scholars who are interested in developing original perspectives from across city and regional development studies, economic and human/social geography, political science, policy and public administration studies and cross-border studies. By organising and delivering four research seminars through 2023-2024 (Northumbria University, UK; ESSCA Ecole de Management, France; University of Prague, Czech Republic; and Tampere University, Finland), we are seeking to refresh inter-disciplinary discussion and advance debate around our understandings and explanations of the drivers, dynamics and outcomes of transnational leadership and governance in city and regional development settings.