Institutions and regional economic development from a comparative perspective 

Prof. Dr. Johannes Glückler, Institute of Geography, Heidelberg University, Germany 

The course introduces the scholarly debate about concepts of institutions, processes of institutional change, the role of agency – institutional work – in changing institutions, and the role of institutions in innovation and regional development. Adopting a view of relational economic geography, the course reviews illustrative regional case studies to learn assess the specific institutional contexts of regional economies. Finally, it discusses the institutional policy-making approach as a response to the failure of ‘travelling policies’ and as a way to help unlock development traps of regional economies.  

This seminar will allow students to gain knowledge on the concept(s) of social institutions, their role in innovation and regional economic development, and the mechanisms through which institutions change. Furthermore, students will be able to recognize policy opportunities though an institutional lens.