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Knowledge and Space Symposium*

The Knowledge and Space Symposium deals with the generation, diffusion and application of knowledge under special consideration of the role of the spatial context and the spatial dimension of knowledge-disparities. The topic Knowledge and Space covers various interrelated research questions, which are of great political and economical relevance to society.

Institutions have increasingly become recognized as important conditions for economic, organizational and social development. Since institutions tend to vary across historical time and geographical space and since they are hard to imitate or transmit to other locations, understanding the inherent processes of social institutions poses an interesting challenge for both institutional research and geography. This symposium seeks to facilitate an interdisciplinary dialogue between experts from different fields in the social sciences. Taking into account the different understandings of the term ‘institutions’, from formal and informal rules to organizations to stable interaction patterns and cultural blueprints, the symposium addresses current research challenges recurring around the questions of how exactly “institutions matter”:

  • How do institutions persist and change, and how can we understand institutional change in the process?
  • How can we account for regional variations of institutions and their outcomes?
  • Can we qualify ‘good institutions’ and if so, how?
    How can institutional work bridge the paradox of embedded agency and build new institutions?
  • How do institutions matter for the innovative capacity and knowledge creation of a region?

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