Editors’ Pick

The Editors’ Pick section is a new innovation for Regions e-Zine

In this section we aim to feature one paper published in the five RSA journals papers. The selection criteria will vary according to the central theme of each issue. It is our aim, however, to question the RSA journals’ Editors about why the selected paper is particularly interesting; the theoretical and empirical linkage with other papers published in the same journal; and also assess the wider impacts for policymaking, practice and society in general of the selected paper.

In this first issue, dedicated to Early Career Research and Regional Studies, we have decided to feature papers by early career Authors. With the kind support of the Editors of Spatial Economic Analysis; Territory, Politics, Governance; Regional Studies, Regional Science; Regional Studies and Area Development and Policy, this section sheds light of five major contributions to the literature on various emerging topics on the field of regional studies.

Spatial Economic Analysis

Editor-in-Chief, Paul Elhorst, University of Groningen, The Netherlands

The paper Wider economic impacts of heavy flooding in Germany: a non-linear programming approach by Jan Oosterhaven and Johannes Többen published in volume 12 of Spatial Economic Analysis is featured because the reviewers were full of praise, commenting that it is well-written due to its simple and clear structure. As emphasised by the Editor-in-Chief, the reviewers argued that the paper provide a significant contribution to the growing literature on new modelling approaches and applications of disaster impact models, has a sound theory and, finally, an interesting application. This paper further develops a new methodology to estimate the wider, indirect impacts of major disasters, and applies it to the 2013 heavy flooding of southern and eastern Germany. Oosterhaven and Többen stress in this paper that much more attention to preventing and mitigating the direct cost of natural and man-made disasters is justified.

Territory, Politics, Governance

Editor-in-Chief, John Agnew, University of California, USA
Early Career Editor, David Wachsmuth, McGill University, Canada 

The paper Party integration at the grassroots: evidence from Canada by Scott Pruysers reflects on the multilevel governance structures in which electoral competition are unfolding. Drawing upon an original survey of nearly 300 federal and provincial constituency associations in Canada’s largest province, this paper contributes to the literature by (i) systematically and empirically evaluating a recent typology of grassroots party integration, and (ii) examining the direction of cooperation and collaboration, it provides evidence to challenge the view of multilevel party linkages as an upward flow. The paper shows the considerable variation that can be found between and within political parties and suggests that the relationship, at least in the Canadian case, is much more reciprocal in nature. Although Pruysers takes Canada as his case study, his research paves a way onto the study of intra- and inter-party relations generally. His analysis shows that researchers of politics cannot make assumptions about the grassroots based on their analysis of national politics. Furthermore, Pruysers demonstrates that there are important variations not only between parties (as the literature has already established) but also within parties.

Regional Studies, Regional Science

Early Career Papers Section Editors    

Marcin Dąbrowski, Lead Section Editor, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
Paul Benneworth, University of Twente, The Netherlands
Sabrina Lai, University of Cagliari, Italy
Lee Pugalis, University of Northumbria, UK
Marijana Sumpor, The Institute for Economics, Zagreb, Croatia
Declan Jordan, University College Cork, Republic of Ireland
Rhiannon Pugh, Uppsala University, Sweden

The paper Initiating resource partnerships for industrial symbiosis by Anne Velenturf published in volume 4 of Regional Studies, Regional Science deserves the focus in this section because it showcases a relatively fresh topic for regional studies – circular economy. This topic is picking up now as a new focus of policy and research. Velenturf’s paper interprets industrial symbiosis as waste-to-resource innovation. The paper explores how companies identify potential resource partners in terms of network and geographical distances. Based on case studies of waste-to-resource innovation in the Humber region of the UK, the paper concludes that (1) companies can identify resource partners among/through their direct contacts that are involved in resource production/management themselves; and (2) that about 73% of these connections are located within a 75 miles’ radius. The paper highlights the need for a refined governance approach to facilitate industrial symbiosis as part of the wider transition towards the circular economy.

Velenturf’s paper was published as part of the Early Career Papers Section of RSRS.

This section offers a unique mentored route towards peer-reviewed publication. By this, Regional Studies, Regional Science commits itself to support early career researchers in their path towards peer-reviewed publication in a leading journal in the field. Thus, early career researchers who are members of the Regional Studies Association can benefit from several rounds of constructive review process prior to a regular peer-review done by an external referee.  The Authors are hence mentored by a corresponding Editor, who produces supportive feedback and advice on how to improve the paper to reach a high quality standard required for publishing in RSRS. In addition, all manuscripts pass through the editorial team review, which offers further feedback to the Authors. For example, Maxwell D. Hartt, University of Waterloo, Canada highlights that the early career mentored route “was invaluable”; the guidance provided by the Corresponding Editor helped him to “navigate the often-overwhelming process of peer review”, has also improved his writing and increased his “confidence” and “potential as an academic.” (read Hartt’s paper).

Beyond this unique form of support, RSRS offers a major advantage to its early career Authors – a broad readership that the papers can reach. This is thanks to the Open Access model, but also the fact that RSRS has rapidly built its reputation by publishing excellent and authoritative studies, which are widely read and cited. What is more, the short and “to the point” format of the papers presenting a fresh idea in regional studies which further facilitates wider impact.

To submit a paper proposal or for further information regarding any of the above-mentioned points, please contact: Rhiannon Pugh, Abstract Manager of the Early Career Papers section, at rhiannon.pugh@kultgeog.uu.se. The forthcoming submission deadline for the Early Career Papers Section is 31st of July 2018. RSRS has recently been accepted into the Emerging Sources Citation Index.

Regional Studies

Editor-in-Chief , David Bailey, Aston University, UK
Deputy Editor in ChiefJennifer Clark, Associate Professor of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
Early Career Editor, Ernest Miguelez, Junior Researcher, CNRS, GREThA-University of Bordeaux, France

The paper Relatedness, external linkages and regional innovation in Europe by Ernest Miguelez and Rosina Moreno analyses if the generation of new knowledge benefits from the combination of similar or dissimilar pieces of existing technologies. Focused on a large sample of European regions (255 NUTS-2 regions) belonging to 25 countries, Miguelez and Moreno use a knowledge production function (KPF) to ascertain what type of knowledge recombination – related or unrelated – is more conducive to regional innovation. One of the novelties of this paper is that is one of the few investigating cross-regional linkages and related variety for which trade data have mostly been used to depict linkages across regions. The paper underlines that diversity of knowledge, or variety, is critical for regional innovation. However, it also stresses that only knowledge flowing from different but related technologies (related variety) will generate new knowledge that incrementally constructs on established cognitive structures across related technologies. The paper ends by suggesting that future research must thoroughly look at the effect of regional unrelated variety on breakthrough innovations.

Area Development and Policy

Managing Editors, Michael Dunford and Liu Weidong, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
Early Career Editor, Mia Bennett, University of Hong Kong, China

Area Development and Policy (ADP) is a journal publishing original academic research examining the multi-scalar and geographically differentiated relationships between economic and political organization, ways of life and work and their context. The paper A ‘green’ development model: Transnational model-making in China’s small hydropower training programmes by Tyler Harlan is featured here because it deals with relations between the Chinese model and China’s involvement in other parts of the world. Specifically, the paper underlines that the expansion of Chinese overseas investment and aid over the past decade has triggered concern that China is ‘exporting’ an environmentally destructive development model to other countries. However, Harlan’s argues that China’s foreign aid also includes training programmes in ‘green’ technologies, such as small hydropower (SHP). This paper analyzes the policies, technologies and ideas around green development that these training programmes promote, and their political and commercial benefits for Chinese actors.