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Markus Grillitsch

Senior Lecturer

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Investigating agency: methodological and empirical challenges

Author

  • Markus Grillitsch
  • Josephine V. Rekers
  • Markku Sotarauta

Summary, in English

The promise of connecting agency and structure in studies of regional development is to disentangle causal effects and to better understand to what extent and how individuals, groups of individuals, and organisations can shape regional trajectories. This is not without challenges because agency and structure are deep theoretical constructs, which are not easily translated into empirical research. We have devoted a research project to study how agency and structure are connected in the context of regional development and have faced many difficulties on the way. Here, we would like to share our experiences and proposed solutions grouped into seven challenges, which were present in all of the 12 comparative case studies in Finland, Norway and Sweden. The challenges refer to the ontology of agency and structure, the research design, the time period of study, the spatial scale, the research instrument, the data collection and analysis.

Department/s

  • Department of Human Geography
  • CIRCLE

Publishing year

2021

Language

English

Pages

302-323

Publication/Series

Handbook on City and Regional Leadership

Document type

Book chapter

Publisher

Edward Elgar Publishing

Topic

  • Economic Geography

Status

Published

Project

  • Regional Growth against all odds

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISBN: 9781788979689
  • ISBN: 9781788979672