Editorial Issue 16: Regional Development at a Time of uncertainties II – Regional Development in the Shadow of Political and Social Change: Charting Economic and Social Futures Amidst Uncertainty

DOI reference: 10.1080/13673882.2023.00001012


By Robert Bowen, Stefania Fiorentino and  Eduardo Oliveira.

Issue 16 of Regions continues with the theme of Regional Development at a Time of uncertainties, by focusing on Regional Development in the Shadow of Political and Social Change: Charting Economic and Social Futures Amidst Uncertainty. This issue delves into the complex and multifaceted aspects of regional development amidst uncertainty, aiming to chart global economic and social futures. This comes at a time of economic uncertainty in the post-Covid period with additional challenges of disrupted supply chains, labour markets and high levels of inflation, as well as a greater awareness of climate change issues impacting on regional development activities. This issue comprises 17 articles that discuss timely issues on this subject across the various sections of Regions.

The Regional Insights Section begins with an article by Paul Abiero Opondo, who reflects on the African Futures of regional integration and challenges to the marginalized small-scale traders across the borders of the partner states of the East African Community, concluding that that informal regional trade is the fundamental driver for economic integration within the EAC Region. The second article by Juergen Attard presents a case study of the proposed Victoria Park in Gozo, Malta, and outlines the benefits of urban green projects as part of regional development. The article points to the benefits and opportunities of the Victoria Park project to the community, the local economy and the environment, particularly as part of a regional development strategy for Gozo. The third article in this section by Pratibha Singh, Prof Karin Kreutzer, and Dr. Rama Krishna Reddy Kummitha explores the role of smart city strategies in fostering entrepreneurship in small and medium sized cities in India, undertaking a case study of Indore and Satna. Their findings note that city-level innovation can lead to new technology, institutional arrangements, business models and new ways to accelerate the development of smart cities. The fourth Insights article investigates evolving dynamics of Africa-China business relations. The authors, Nadim Hossain, SM Sourav, Md Khalil Un Nabi, and Paul N. Ngang evaluate the mutually beneficial nature of China-Africa relations and note that African nations can seek inclusive prosperity and transformative growth by leveraging China’s experience in navigating the changing global landscape. The fifth Insights article sees authors SM Sourav and Paul N. Ngang discuss opportunities and challenges in the platinum industry in South Africa. They point to demand for platinum in advanced hard drives, robotics, cloud storage and other power technology advancements, but most importantly, in hydrogen fuel cells, essential for electric vehicles.

The second section of Issue 16 is a special RSA Highlights section dedicated to the annual RSA conference held in Ljubljana, Slovenia in June 2023, containing 10 articles reviewing various discussions from the conference. This section is firstly introduced in an article by Harry Radzuan, which provides an overview of the conference and highlights the bursary scheme for early career researchers, who have provided reviews of the conference in the following articles. The first of these is Simone Grabner, whose article discusses Regional Innovation and Technological Change at the conference. Secondly, Luke Green’s article highlights conference discussions about Financing regional transformations. Next, Mariia Rastvorova presents her article on Sustainable Tourism, Carolina Guevara-Rosero discusses Globalization and De-globalization, Chandrima Mukhopadhyay tackles the timely topic of Regional Resilience, Sergio Palomeque writes about Global Challenges, Vojtěch Dvořák deals with Inclusive Growth, and Solomiia Tkach reviews JRC’s SMARTER conference stream on Urban and Rural Transformations for Sustainability and Resilience. Sila Ceren Varis Husar provides a conclusion to this section.

The third section of Issue 16 includes a separate RSA Highlights article by Carolina Foglia and Christian Joel González Cuatianquis reviewing the 2023 RSA Europe Summer College “The Economic Geography of Spatial Disparities”, held in L’Aquila, Italy in May 2023. This Summer College, attended by 22 applicants, brought together high-profile researchers and policy experts as speakers to present the latest studies, policy developments and insights on spatial disparities, regional growth and decline.

The final section of Issue 16 contains one Research Hacks article in which experienced author Marcin Dąbrowski provides valuable insights on Writing your first academic article. Publishing in peer-reviewed journals can be difficult, especially for early career researchers; however, this article provides a detailed overview of how to approach writing an academic article and advice on structure, style and how to manage the review process.

We now invite submissions for our next issue, Issue 17, on “The Widening Social Divide of Climate Change”. This concludes the 2023 theme of Regional Development at a Time of uncertainties. We encourage submissions that examine the impact of these uncertainties on regional development, as well as potential solutions and best practices. The submission deadline is Monday, November 27th, and the publication date is the first week of December. In addition, we welcome original research articles, case studies, and book reviews that address any of the subtopics listed in the editorial lead.

Take advantage of the chance to showcase your work to a broader audience! Regions, the elected publication of the Regional Studies Association Community, is the perfect platform for your research. Contact us now at office@regionalstudies.org to get started!

Thank you for considering Regions e-zine.

Editorial Team

Eduardo Oliveira | Stefania Fiorentino | Robert Bowen