Department of Social Geography & Regional Development, Faculty of Science,
Charles University

We focus on theoretical and conceptual approaches to the study of economic geography and regional development, particularly in terms of global production networks, global value chains and regional innovation systems. 



Our main research fields

Snímek obrazovky 2020-02-14 v 17.27.49.p






Scientific Minds

PhD. candidate

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PhD. Candidate

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Petr Pavlínek | (2019-2021) | The Czech Science Foundation (GACR)

This project aims to analyze changes in the spatial organization and division of labor of the European automotive industry since 2000 with a particular focus on the changing position of East-Central Europe (ECE). It will examine detailed changes in the international trade with automotive products at the national level in order to evaluate the upgrading or downgrading of the automotive industry of individual countries. Based on the innovative methodology, the international trade data will be used to delimit and determine the changes in the position of individual countries in the core, periphery and semi-periphery of the European automotive industry between 2000 and 2018. The proposed project will also evaluate the impacts of rapid growth in ECE on the West European automotive industry by analyzing employment effects of plant rationalizations, closures and relocations by large firms between 2005 and 2020. Conceptually, the proposed research draws on the global production networks and global value chains perspectives combined with contemporary approaches to uneven economic development.


P Netrdová, V Nosek, P Hurbánek (2020)
ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 9 (2), 126

When working with regional data from different countries, issues concerning data comparability need to be solved, including regional comparability. Differing regional unit size is a common issue which influences the results of socio-economic analyses. In this paper, we introduce a strategy to deal with the regional incomparability of administrative data in international research. We propose a methodological approach based on the areal interpolation method, which facilitates the usage of advanced spatial analyses. To illustrate, we analyze spatial patterns of unemployment in seven Central European countries. We use a very detailed spatial (municipal) level to reveal local tendencies. To have comparable units across the whole region, we apply the areal interpolation method, a process of projecting data from source administrative units to the target structure of a grid. After choosing the most suitable grid structure and projecting the data onto the grid, we perform a hot spot analysis to show the benefits of the grid structure for socio-economic analyses. The proposed approach has great potential in international research for its methodological correctness and the ability to interpret results.

V Kveton A Belohradsky, J Blazek (2020)
Papers in Regional Science

This paper aims at an understanding of acquisition processes in a strongly industrialized and export‐oriented economy in Central Europe. Drawing on a proximity framework and behaviour theory, the paper investigates that the geographical proximity dimension is more influential than the cognitive proximity dimension. At the same time, cognitive proximity matters more for foreign firms investing into the economy than for domestic acquisitions. While the role of cognitive proximity diminished during the economic crisis, geographical proximity keeps its importance throughout the economic cycle. Moreover, cognitive proximity has become more important for acquisitions of large companies and less for SMEs.

P Pavlinek (2020) 

Journal of Economic Geography 20 (2), 509-541

This article draws on Harvey’s theory of uneven development and spatio-temporal fix to conceptualize the changing geography of the European automotive industry based on the spatial profit-seeking strategies of automotive firms. It employs the spatial concept of integrated peripheries, in order to explain the growth of the automotive industry in peripheral regions and its contemporaneous restructuring in existing locations. The empirical analysis is based on 2124 restructuring events of large automotive industry firms in the European Union countries and Norway between 2005 and 2016, and on 91 interviews with foreign automotive industry subsidiaries conducted in Czechia and Slovakia between 2009 and 2015. Large differences in labor costs and other production costs across the European Union explain the growth in the East European integrated periphery and simultaneous restructuring in both traditional core regions and old integrated peripheries in Western Europe. The empirical analysis also confirmed the increasing internationalization and the decreasing role played by large domestic firms in the European automotive industry.

J Blazek, V Kveton, S Baumgartinger-Seiringer, M Trippl (2019)
European Planning Studies, 1-19

Over the past few years, scholarly debates on new path development have attracted increasing attention within the economic geography literature. This work distinguishes various trajectories of regional and industrial evolution. So far, these evolutionary trajectories have been mainly conceptualized as ‘positive’ forms of path development. However, in reality, many regions are undergoing phases that can be characterized as ‘negative’ trajectories. Despite their potentially detrimental social and political effects, negative pathways have to date largely been ignored in the extant literature. This paper seeks to shed light on the ‘dark side’ of path development by outlining a typology of ‘pathways of decline’. Three forms of negative pathways are identified, namely path contraction, path downgrading and path delocalization. Empirical illustrations are provided for each of them.




March 31, 2020

Jiří Blažek: Knowledge bases, R&D structure and socio-economic and innovation performance


May 28-29, 2020
Mladá Boleslav, Czechia

October 26-27, 2020
Aalborg, Denmark



Department of Social Geography and Regional Development
Faculty of Science, Charles University
Albertov 6, Prague 2
128 43 Czechia


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