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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Regional Studies

For a Special Issue on
The regional dimension of the twin transition: new insights on joining green and digital transformations

Abstract deadline
30 April 2022

Manuscript deadline
30 September 2022

Cover image - Regional Studies

Special Issue Editor(s)

Alessandra Faggian, GSSI, Italy
[email protected]

Alberto Marzucchi, GSSI, Italy
[email protected]

Sandro Montresor, GSSI, Italy
[email protected]

Submit an ArticleVisit JournalArticles

The regional dimension of the twin transition: new insights on joining green and digital transformations

The special issue contributes to the ongoing policy debate about the opportunity of combining the green and the digital transitions to make local economies evolve along smart, sustainable and inclusive patterns of growth. While not new to the policy agendas of different countries in Europe and beyond, such a debate about the so-called twin transition appears rather scarce and fragmented in the academic domain.

The green transition is expected to enable regions to re-orient their competences and industrial structure and to re-new their growth paths towards the unescapable goals that the climate change crisis is posing to the planet. Such green transition of our economies and society is not unrelated to the transformations brought about by the development and diffusion of digital technologies.  On the one hand, these may pose serious environmental threats, which span from the depletion of rare materials in their production to the high energy consumption in their use. On the other hand, digital technologies offer important environmental opportunities, both in improving green efficiency and footprint of current production and consumption modes and in facilitating the development of new green technologies for that to happen.

Given the regional embeddedness of the business and institutional actors involved in the making and shaping of the twin transition, as well as the place-specificity of competences and of the knowledge base required to make it unfold, disregarding the regional dimensions may result in dangerous “one-size-fits-all” recommendations, obtaining even detrimental policy effects. A dedicated reflection appears therefore necessary, which is what we intend to do with the special issue.

To the best of our knowledge, only a few studies in the geography of innovation field and regional studies have investigated the extent to which some of the new digital technologies - like those among the Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) and Artificial Intelligence - can make regions more capable to specialise in green technologies. Even fewer are the studies that have looked at the green sustainability impact of digital inventions at the regional level, contrasting the first- and the second-order effects linked to the production and diffusion of newly patented green inventions. A paucity of studies about the green-enabling role of digitalisation also includes transition studies and research about new green industrial path development

Based on these premises, we invite contributions that could help in filling an important research gap in regional studies and in contributing to the current regional policy agendas on the topic. We welcome papers that address, in a pluralist but coherent manner, a set of interconnected themes that emerge in the analysis of the twin transition at the regional level. These themes include:

  • Regional patterns of “green digital” and “digital for green” production and consumption. Contributions will analyse the digital infrastructures, skills, and capabilities that can allow regions: to reduce the environmental impact of digital production and adoption; to diversify/specialise in sustainable products and services, which are located at different points of relation with extant production and technological capabilities.
  • Regional knowledge recombination at the core of green & digital technologies. Submitted works will look at how regional inventive activities in the green and digital domains result from the recombination of local knowledge coming from different fields.
  • The twin transition relation with regional cohesion and growth. Contributions will look at how the components of the twin transition could result in improved and more even and just patterns of regional development.
  • The twin transition in-between societal challenges and policymaking. Contributions will shed light on policy actions and on how local communities can be prone and prepared to the unfolding of the twin transition, and willing to pay for its costs.

Submission Instructions

The submission process is organized in two steps. In the first step, interested contributors are invited to send an extended abstract (in pdf) of maximum 500 words, including up to three key-words, to [email protected]. Please indicate “Regional Studies Special Issue Submission”, in the subject of the email and enclose the abstract as an attachment to the email.

Submitted abstracts will be evaluated by the Guest Editors, who will short-list those admitted to the second step, by notifying the contributors by May 31, 2022. The selection process will be based on the relevance and the envisaged quality of the submission.

In the second step, selected contributors are invited to submit the full paper for peer review to ScholarOne, following the “Authors Guidelines” and the “Submission Instructions” provided on the Regional Studies webpage. The special issue title, “The regional dimension of the twin transition: new insights on joining green and digital transformations”, should be selected when submitting the paper to ScholarOne

Full paper submission will be open soon after the notification of the outcomes of the first step selection.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article

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