The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Student Profiles

Diana Morales Arcila

Project title: Regional Co-operation for Local and Regional Development: The Eje Cafetero and Mitteldeutschland experiences

Supervisors: Professor Andy Pike and Professor Danny Mackinnon

My research is focused in regional co-operation as schemes to foster local and regional development. In general terms, regional co-operation are strategies used by municipalities amongst diverse countries in order to enhance local capacities to accomplish public tasks or deal with shared problems. The concept is far from new; however, its role within the resurgence of regions in the recent years requires further analysis. Indeed, economic globalisation has exerted new pressures for regions to assume a renewed role in economic processes bringing as a probable consequence major incentives to establish regional co-operation strategies.

The overall aim of my research is to analyse the relation between regional co-operation and local and regional development, emphasising in the construction and impact of cooperative arrangements in the regional geographies (local and regional development, local and regional economics, and local and regional political-administrative organisation), trying to reconcile global north and global south approaches to development. In order to fulfil these objectives, a comparative case study will be addressed: El Eje Cafetero, located in Colombia, and Mitteldeutschland, located in Germany.

Finally, my research will attempt to solve the following questions:

  • How to define local and regional development for changing and evolving contexts?
  • In what sense and to what extent regional co-operation goals are related with local and regional development?
  • What kinds of institutional conditions and components are required for cooperation strategies to positively impact local and regional development?
  • Does a regional cooperation strategy influence forms of territorial organisation which reflect regions´ actual needs rather than the former territorial-administrative division within countries?