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Learning from Leipzig? Regional Development and Socio-cultural Transition


  • Dirk Bunzel

    () (Faculty of Economics & Business Administration, University of Oulu, Finlan)

  • Mihaela Kelemen

    () (Management School, Keele University, UK)


This paper describes developmental pathways of two regions in Central and Eastern Europe: Leipzig (Germany) and Petrosani (Romania). Once being strongholds of traditional industries, these regions have developed along distinctive socio-economic trajectories over the last two decades. While Leipzig has reinvented itself into a ?learning region?, Petrosani is still struggling to find its road to growth and prosperity. The paper analyses the interplay between locally bread cultures and regional learning capabilities. It argues that capacities and capabilities for innovation and learning develop out of a community-specific reservoir of traditions, values, and life-styles that surpasses phases of socio-economic transition. Consequently, while much emphasis has been put upon developing a region?s ?hardware? (e.g. infrastructure), developmental policies and strategies need to reflect the corresponding ?software?: regional culture!

Suggested Citation

  • Dirk Bunzel & Mihaela Kelemen, 2011. "Learning from Leipzig? Regional Development and Socio-cultural Transition," Review of Economics & Finance, Better Advances Press, Canada, vol. 1, pages 52-62, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bap:journl:110304

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jan Lambooy, 2005. "Innovation and knowledge: Theory and regional policy," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(8), pages 1137-1152, April.
    2. Jørgen Amdam, 2003. "Structure and Strategy for Regional Learning and Innovation--Challenges for Regional Planning," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(4), pages 439-459, June.
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    More about this item


    Culture; Eastern Europe; Embeddedness; Hofstede; Learning regions; Path dependency; Regional culture; Regional development; Socio-cultural transition; Socio-economic development;

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics
    • R5 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics


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