Call for papers, international conference on “Apparent Antitheses: Globalisation And Local Development”.

February 14, 2008.  

The graduate School on Local Development of the University of Trento, Italy announces the organisation of an international conference on “Apparent Antitheses: Globalisation And Local Development”.


The conference will be held on 9th-11th October, 2008 in Trento and will address the apparently antithetic relation existing between globalisation and local development, from an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective.


The School is now calling for papers to be presented at the conference. The deadline for submitting abstracts and CVs is 15th March, 2008.


The application form is available below for download







University of Trento - Trento, Italy

9th – 11th October 2008


1. Background and issues

The international conference addresses the apparently antithetic relation existing between

globalisation and local development from an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective.

Increasing openness, interaction, and integration of economies, politics, societies and

technologies, should lead to convergence of structures, practices and standards. In an

alternative scenario based on distinctive socio-economic systems (“national capitalisms”),

convergence is not a necessary – and not even a likely outcome of globalisation. This is so for

different reasons that span from the role of distinctive competences and path dependence to

the instability of globalisation processes that continuously alter the conditions for and the

requirements of adaptation.

More recently, theoretical and applied research on localised competences and dynamic

legacies of the firm, actual features of delocalisation, social capital at micro- and meso-level,

cultural and social interpretations of technology, multilevel governance and subsidiarity have

opened new perspectives and new questions for local development.

The three perspectives tend to highlight different aspects of globalisation and local

development. From them, a host of important questions descend. If globalisation has

homogenising effects, that are at the origin of asymmetric shocks for local constituencies, in

different situations and presenting diverse features, can local development be an efficacious

adaptation mechanism? Since globalisation strongly limits and constraints the ability of national

governments to use macro-policies for governing the economy and society, can local

development offer a viable governance solution, perhaps together with the upsurge of micropolicies?

Social and political stability and competitiveness in a globalising context requires the

mobilisation, use and coordination of dispersed resources and capabilities: can local

development enjoy sizeable and appropriable advantages under this perspective? Which are

the institutions and policy means that can reconstruct the entirety and complexity of processes

and coordinate decisions and activities?

There are various signs suggesting that globalisation, along with its homogenising effects, has

important outcomes for the valuable use of distinct and idiosyncratic features and abilities. Is

local development an efficacious provider of variety to meet the increasing variety of tastes and

the needs of modular technologies? Can local development act as an insurance device by

providing a variety of solutions to unforeseen events and situations, that globalization brings

Scuola sullo Sviluppo Locale School on Local Development

Università di Trento University of Trento

Palazzo Ferrari, University of Trento, Via Belenzani 39, 38100 Trento, Italy

Tel.: +39 0461 88 3499 - fax: +39 0461 882803 - Email:


about? Will different localities endowed with different local development experiences play a

different role in the globalisation process and pursue different types of specialisation? Which

consequences will this have for countries?

A particular but fundamental type of globalisation is the one which characterises the natural

environment. The strain that is jeopardising the environment and fostering a quest for

sustainability may require a new holistic approach to manage threats and foster a sustainable

approach to global development: can local development offer solutions by anchoring activities

in local constituencies which are supposedly more sensitive to environmental issues?

2. Topics

Papers can deal with topics in the domain of the conference themes, such as:

 Local development according to the prevailing paradigms;

 Institutions and policies: the coordination of decisions and activities in a locally based global


 Mobilisation of dispersed resources and capabilities;

 Local government as a governance mechanism: micro-policies, multilevel governance;

 The quest for variety and the role of local development;

 Local development as an adaptation mechanism in case of asymmetric external shocks;

 Local development as an insurance against unforeseen and asymmetric events;

 Local development as the basis for a new holistic approach to environmental sustainability.

Topics may be afforded both in theoretical and in applied terms, using case studies or a

comparative approach, and may refer to developed, developing or transformation countries.


nnovative ideas and approaches are welcome.

3. Conditions for participants

The Conference Academic Committee is now calling for papers to be presented at the


Applicants should send an abstract not exceeding 500 words, and Curriculum Vitae no longer

than one page with up to 10 publications. Abstracts must be addressed to:, and are expected by March 15th, 2008. The Committee will

notify applicants by April 15th, 2008. Papers of selected applicants are due in electronic form

(pdf) by September 15th, 2008. Accepted papers will be taken into consideration for a special


A number of scholarships are reserved for young applicants without institutional sponsorship.

Please enquire at:

The registration fee amounts to 120 euro and includes two days lunch buffet and coffee break,

the conference dinner on Friday, October 10th, 2008 and a CD with selected papers.

Non-selected applicants can participate at their own expense, by registering for the conference.




Alice Valdesalici


Scuola sullo Sviluppo Locale/ School on Local Development

Università degli Studi di Trento/ University of Trento

via Belenzani n. 39, Trento

tel. +39 0461 883499

fax +39 0461 882803


Günther Manske

Dr. Günther Manske


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