Spatial competitiveness and regional inequalities: new aspects and interpretations


  • Δημήτρης Φουτάκης



Spatial competitiveness, Regional disparities


The question of economic development at the different spatial levels, mostly at the regional/local) one, has been appointed to a crucial issue for developmental policy since 1980 and especially during the last decade. Literature on this theme is strongly concerned with the elements related to the ability of "successful areas" of structural adjustment to the international and national competition. In this context a lot of studies, such as the ones worked out by the European Commission, have pointed out the crucial role of the areas' competitiveness. The so-called "new regionalism" approach and especially its theoretical strands of "un-traded inter-dependencies" as well as that one of the "intelligent region" tend to prevail in the relevant debate on an international level. This article attempts to present the theoretical formation of the above-mentioned approaches as well as to identify the meaning of spatial competitiveness and its determining factors. Within this context the article also sets the issue of the less developed areas and their perspectives for convergence.