Geografie 2012, 117, 209-233

Regional Innovation Systems and Global Production Networks: Two Views on the Source of Competitiveness in the Present-Day World?

Jiří Blažek

Univerzita Karlova v Praze, Přírodovědecká fakulta, katedra sociální geografie a regionálního rozvoje, Albertov 6, 128 43 Praha 2, Czechia

Received October 2011
Accepted March 2012

The aim of this article is three-fold. First, to discuss differences between the two major conceptualisations which are driving contemporary regional research in Europe and beyond. Second, to examine the contribution of the so-called “Albertov School” of Czech geography to the fore-mentioned debates. And finally, to set an agenda for future research. This investigation confirms that several decades isolation of the “Albertov School” has, to a significant extent, been overcome already. Moreover, the functioning of Czech society and its accompanying economy resembles that of developed countries and, in this sense, the specifics of the transformation processes are becoming secondary in relevance. Consequently, the basic orientation of research is being increasingly inspired by state-of-the-art regional studies. Nevertheless, several significant imbalances in current research have been identified. Therefore, this article outlines key challenges for future research.


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