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Department of Regional Studies

Regional Studies provide a foundation for the comprehensive development of society

Regional Studies is a combination of applied economic geography and social geography. Teaching and research in Regional Studies is focused on the structures and operation of regional economies and the theories and methods of regional development. We are interested in sustainable development and the welfare of citizens and communities. Regional Studies operates on multiple levels, from local communities to global phenomena. Research and teaching in Regional Studies focuses on business networks, traffic networks, civic and societal systems and multilevel systems of administration.

We are interested in people's regional behaviour, the operation of businesses and organisations and changes to regional economies in a globalising world. Shifting global networks give rise to regional changes that can impact people's everyday lives and experiences. This means we are interested in physical closeness, historical continuity, emotions attached to the places and the identities of individuals and groups. We examine the global in a local context, delving into the tension between the ordinary and the exceptional. We are building a knowledge base where the sparsely populated areas and rural are part of a welfare society. We develop methods and theories on the international learning of regional communities within the framework of the European Union.

Research in regional studies is organized by the research team Place based society and regional development policy. The research program consists of four main themes: 1) Regional economy and urban systems, 2) Regional development policy, 3) Rural areas, and 4) Localities and cultures.

Seija Virkkala
Professor, Head of Department