Regional Economic Resilience Revisited: A capacity-based approach to deliberate system transformations

Publications: Contribution to conferencePaper


Covid-19 and the unevenly distributed socio-economic impacts of the pandemic signified the latest grand societal challenge fueling the agenda for system transformation in the anthroposphere. In the meantime, regional economic resilience remains the state-of-the-art concept amongst economic geographers to investigate the spatio-temporal dynamics of system behavior in face of crisis. Yet, regional economies are frequently assumed to bounce back or recover to business-as-usual, whilst deep-seated questions about desirability and directionality of economic development pathways remain marginal. Through a critical literature review, this paper hence scrutinizes existing conceptual and empirical interpretations of resilience in economic geography and exposes a number of normative and epistemological issues in established theoretical foundations and operational frameworks. The argument elaborates on the apparent neglect of social and environmental system dimensions obscured by a prevailing growth-oriented resilience paradigm and identifies a number of gaps and opportunities to advance regional economic system analysis. In advocating for radical reconceptualization of regional resilience, an emphasis is placed on socio-ecological system theory and deliberate processes of change. In illuminating the central role of social networks, actor capacities and decision-making structures, this paper draws from the wider field of human geography to enrich regional economic resilience thinking, bringing matters of power, politics and social inclusion to the fore. The novel place-based framework introduced in this paper is geared to guide future research based on a nuanced agency-based understanding of purposeful and intentional transformative regional economic resilience.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusIn preparation - 23 Jan 2023
EventGlobal Conference on Economic Geography - Trinity College, Dublin , Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 7 Jun 202210 Jun 2022


ConferenceGlobal Conference on Economic Geography
Abbreviated titleGCEG 2022

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 507013 Regional geography


  • regional transformation
  • covid-19
  • socio-ecological systems
  • resilience

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