RSA Annual Conference 2018 – Lugano, Switzerland, 3-6 June 2018

13 November 2017

Date and location

  •  3rd June, 2018 – 6th June, 2018
  •  Università della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, Switzerland

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Conference details

Important dates:

Special Session Proposal Deadline: 30th November 2017

Early Career Plenary Speaker application deadline: 30th November 2017

Bursary application deadline: 31st January 2018

Abstract Submission Deadline: 23rd February 2018


In January 2017, the editorial of the 50th anniversary issue of Regional Studies launched – under the title “Global reversal, regional revival?” – a timely debate about regions and their development in a changing world where global trade and capital flows have been challenged. At the same time, The Economist presented evidence of capital flows shifting from foreign direct investments by multinational companies to new and more decentralised strategies such as an increasing focus on the establishment of national franchises, as well as the growing success of SMEs by means of utilizing e-commerce. New models of international business are emerging, and these have evolved in response to changing technologies, political shifts, the territorial awakening of some regions, and changing consumer demands – including calls for a more overt attempt to address sustainability and social justice at the national scale.

In this context, we need to better understand the nature and fabric of a footloose world. We know that transport and communication technologies continue to progress, information is ubiquitous and the data deluge is growing over time, while at the same time economically valuable knowledge continues to be sticky. On the one hand production factors remain highly mobile and this mobility is expressed in ways that are often unexpected, while on the other hand a rise of local culture and awareness, and tendencies towards increasing protectionism and nationalism is clearly observable. Nonetheless, migration pressures remain evident both within firms seeking new labour and amongst individuals seeking out a better life, capital investments continue to be borderless and the world of tourism booms.

The 2018 RSA Annual Conference aims to address processes of global reversal and regional revival, in a world dominated by flows of capital, labor, and knowledge. Further it seeks to understand the political, economic and social factors that initiate change and how these changes are finding new expressions as the world’s political and economic system continues to struggle with low rates of global economic growth, the rise of China as an economic super power, the on-going impacts of recession and austerity, and increasing levels of inequality.

To study and debate these and many other questions, we warmly invite the regional studies/science and connected communities to join us at the 2018 RSA Annual Conference in Lugano, Switzerland.

Conference themes

Innovation and knowledge economies Spatial planning and infrastructure
Labour markets, migration and borders Location and relocation of economic activities
Mobility, urban and rural development Tourism, events and culture
Sustainability, climate change and environment Regional development policy
Agglomeration, clusters and externalities Smart specialisation and the evolution of regional economies
Regional well-being, ageing and demography Urban and regional theory, methodology and data
Regional and international trade Networks and regional development
Entrepreneurship, start-ups and business climate Financial crisis, austerity and resilience
 Regional challenges in health and education Territorial governance and institutions
Housing, inequality and social justice Developing area studies
Leading Change in Cities, Regions and Contested Spaces Industry policy and the transition to carbon-constrained development
The emergence of the BRIC economies Governments, Governance and Metagovernance: The Politics and Policy of Regions

We welcome papers from all – academics, researchers, students, and those working in policy and practice. The event is inclusive and offers networking opportunities for all in our field.

The organisers welcome proposals for special sessions, themed workshops and innovative forms of networking and collaboration. If you would like to organise or offer a session to the conference, please contact Wanda Miczorek at [email protected]


Abstract Submission Details:

Please submit proposals for papers in the form of a 250-word abstract (text only) through the RSA conference portal by Friday 23rd February 2018. Proposals will be considered by the Conference Programme Committee against the criteria of originality, interest and subject balance.#

Conference fees:

Click here to register

Conference organisers

Local Organising Committee :

Prof. Rico Maggi, Instituto Ricerche Economiche IRE, Università della Svizzera italiana
Prof. Antonio Calafati, Academy of Architecture,  Università della Svizzera italiana
Prof. Lorenzo Cantoni, Faculty of Communication sciences, Università della Svizzera italiana

RSA Organiser: Wanda Miczorek: [email protected]  +44 (0)1273 698 017