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31 December 2021
Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography
Special Issue Editor(s)
Centre for Innovation Research, CIRCLE, Lund University
Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Division of Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Innovation in the Periphery: Nordic and International Perspectives
Within the area of research that can broadly termed geography of innovation, with strong overlaps with economic geography more generally, peripheries in the Nordics and elsewhere have been a key site of interest when it comes to issues of innovation, agglomeration (or lack thereof) and regional development. Particularly interesting has been work referring to very rural, sparsely populated, and inaccessible regions which we group here as peripheries. We have seen some recent collections addressing the policy and economic implications of peripherality, with a Nordic focus (Kristensen et al., 2019; Stenbacka & Heldt Cassell, 2020). The academic community targeted by this special issue lies at the crossroads of multiple established academic fields, the most prominent being rural entrepreneurship, territorial innovation, regional development policies and economic geography at large, which builds on these previous collections with a specific focus on innovation in the periphery.
There have been different angles and foci taken within the study of innovation in the periphery to date, much of which has a Nordic origin but also with important contributions from other global peripheries such as regions of Canada and Australia. For instance, contributions have focused on the strategies of firms in peripheries to overcome the lack of local innovation buzz through purposeful extra regional linkages (Grillitsch and Nilsson, 2015; Fitjar and Rodriguez-Pose, 2017). Others have highlighted challenges around cut-backs in public services, ageing populations and out-migration, and declining or stagnating economies in the face of global economic shifts (Isaksen, 2015; Nuur and Laestadius, 2010). Others have questioned how appropriate main approaches in economic geography literature are in peripheral regions where the institutions and agglomerations assumed to exist – such as universities, research institutes, science and technologies, “creative classes” (cf. Florida, 2006) – may be lacking (McCann and Ortega-Argilés, 2014).
Nevertheless, there is growing evidence that peripheral regions benefit from different types of creativity and innovation potential that core areas cannot compete with (Hautala, 2015). Contemporary research thus needs to investigate the specificity and diversity of innovation processes shaping the socio-economic context and ecological landscapes of peripheries. In this regard, the place of peripheries in the rollout of a bio-based knowledge economy needs to be more fully acknowledged and adequately examined. There remains more work to be done to understand the social relations and economic processes unfolding in peripheries and thus refocus debates on economic development and innovation, and economic geography more generally, away from the core and onto peripheral areas (Hayter et al. 2003).
Bringing together work on different aspects of innovation in peripheral regions is the aim of this special issue, showcasing the diversity of approaches, methods, and theoretical perspectives contained within this sub field. The focus is on the key global sites for investigating economic geographies of peripheral regions, welcoming submissions from Nordic researchers but also those from other parts of the world including the Global South. We invite broad contributions on the topics highlighted above, but more generally on any aspect of innovation within the periphery. We welcome theoretical, methodological, and empirical papers.
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We welcome submissions of work with a theoretical, methodological, or empirical orientation, relating to innovation in the periphery. We welcome submissions from across the Nordics, but also other global peripheries including in the Global South.
Please note the 3 stage submission process for this special issue.
Abstracts (up to 5 pages references inclusive) should be sent in word or PDF file format to Rhiannon Pugh ([email protected]) by March 15th 2021.
The editors will assess the abstracts and invite those selected to submit full papers, again directly emailed to Pugh, by 15th September 2021.
The editors will make a final decision on whether the paper is to be submitted through the journal portal to undertake the external review process. Final deadline for progressing papers to be submitted to the journal will be December 31st 2021.
Expected publication date: Early 2023.
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