Project

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Capital City Dynamics: A Comparative Analysis of Innovation and Positioning of Secondary Capital City Regions

English title Capital City Dynamics: A Comparative Analysis of Innovation and Positioning of Secondary Capital City Regions
Applicant Mayer Heike
Number 143784
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Geographisches Institut Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Social geography and ecology
Start/End 01.05.2013 - 31.12.2016
Approved amount 340'016.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Social geography and ecology
Political science

Keywords (6)

Capital Cities; Regional Innovation Systems; Knoweldge-Intensive Business Services; Metropolitan Rescaling; National Positioning; Urban External Policy

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Hauptstadtdynamiken: Eine Vergleichsstudie des Innovationspotentials und der Positionierungsstrategien von sekundären Hauptstadtregionen. Als sekundäre Hauptstädte werden Hauptstädte bezeichnet, die nicht das wirtschaftliche Zentrum eines Landes sind. Dieses interdisziplinäre Forschungsprojekt interessiert sich für die politische Ökonomie und die damit verbundenen Positionierungsstrategien von solchen Städten.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziel des Forschungsprojektes

Sekundäre Hauptstädte werden wegen ihrer geringen ökonomischen Bedeutung in der wirtschaftsgeografischen und politikwissenschaftlichen Forschung marginalisiert, weshalb eine zusammenhängende theoretische Betrachtung fehlt. Dieses Forschungsprojekt soll diese Lücke schliessen und zu einem umfassenden Verständnis der politischen Ökonomie von sekundären Hauptstädten beitragen.

In dieser Vergleichsstudie von vier sekundären Hauptstädten – Bern, Den Haag, Ottawa und Washington – werden zwei Aspekte besonders beleuchtet. Zum einen bringt die Hauptstadtfunktion eine räumliche Konzentration von Akteuren mit sich, die auf politische Entscheidungsfindungen einwirken wollen. Durch die Interaktion dieser Akteure mit dem öffentlichen Sektor entsteht ein komplexes Regionales Innovationssystem, über dessen Funktionsweise bislang jedoch kaum etwas bekannt ist. Zum anderen sind Hauptstädte, welche lange in komfortabler Abhängigkeit des Nationalstaats verweilten, zunehmend dem nationalen und internationalen urbanen Wettbewerb ausgesetzt, in dem sie sich strategisch zu positionieren haben. Da die Prozesse einer ökonomischen Neuausrichtung und dem politischen Positionierungsstrategien in einer Wechselbeziehung stehen, ist dieses Forschungsprojekt interdisziplinär konzipiert.

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext des Forschungsprojektes

Neuere Tendenzen wie Städte mit globaler Ausstrahlung, transnationale Institutionen und Ansätze von Grossstadtbildungen fordern die traditionell zentrale Rolle von Hauptstädten heraus. Gerade sekundäre Hauptstädte weisen Schwierigkeiten mit diesen Entwicklungen auf, da sie über eine wenig konkurrenzfähige Wirtschaftskraft verfügen. Deshalb soll dieses Projekt nicht nur zu einem wissenschaftlichen Erkenntnisgewinn beitragen, sondern darüber hinaus auch als Diskussionsgrundlage für konkrete Massnahmen in sekundären Hauptstadtregionen dienen.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 04.06.2013

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Secondary capital cities are capitals that are not the primary economi centers of their respective countries. This interdisciplinary research project examines the political economy of capital cities and it focuses on an analysis of capital city innovation systems and their political positioning strategies.
Lay summary

Global and world city theories as well as new approaches to metropolitanization challenge the traditional role and centrality of capital cities. More specifically, capital cities that are not the dominant economic centers of their nations – so-called secondary capital cities – tend to be overlooked in the fields of economic geography and political science and there is a lack of research and resulting theory describing their political economy. Yet, capital cities play an important role in shaping the political, economic, social and cultural identity of a nation. As the seat of power and decision making, capital cities represent a nation's identity not only through their symbolic architecture but also through their economies and through the ways in which they position themselves in national networks. Yet, the decline of the nation state, the rise of transnational institutions, the ascendance of global or world cities, and the increasing concentration of the knowledge economy in a few dominant metropolitan areas has challenged the traditional role and centrality of capital cities. Secondary capital cities are struggling with these trends in particular, because they lack the economic functions of more established commercial cities or multi-functional capitals such as London, Paris or Tokyo.

Economic geography and political science research, however, has marginalized capital cities. As a consequence, there is no cohesive theory about secondary capital cities. This project will add to our understanding of the political economy of secondary capital cities in federalist nations. From a more theoretical point of view, understanding the role of capital cities lies at the core of contemporary theories of urbanization and globalization. The significance of global and world cities has long been observed by social scientists, but the role of capital cities has largely been neglected. Particularly in a time when contemporary globalization has had a great impact on the way urban economies relate and interact, and when economic crises have revealed the significance of political regulation and intervention, it is important to examine the capital city as the seat of power and decision making.

We are interested in explaining secondary capital cities for two reasons: a) capital cities can be conceptualized as “information cities”, “information brokers” or “transactional cities”. These concepts describe how the overall shift of the economy towards knowledge, information and services may have transformed the capital city economy. However, we do not know in what ways the private sector (e.g. knowledge intensive business service firms or so-called KIBS) interacts with the public sector in the capital city economy and how that creates a complex regional innovation system. b) Capital cities have traditionally depended on the nation state and as domesticated host city of the national government, these capital cities have been mired in a comfortable dependence on the very state they were hosting. Yet, secondary capital cities are increasingly subject to urban competition like any other metropolitan area and therefore their political leaders are active in repositioning the capital city in urban networks.

This comparative research project examines the changing economic and political roles of secondary capital cities. We propose to examine the economic dynamics within the capital city and to analyze the ways in which these capital cities position themselves in global and national urban systems. We utilize an interdisciplinary perspective that is informed by theories of economic geography and political science because processes of economic restructuring and political positioning are inextricably interrelated and need to be examined together.

Our research consists of a comparison of four secondary capital cities in Western countries, which differ in terms of their economic strength and dynamic. The comparative case study design will examine the ways in which the role of capital cities has changed over time in response to the historical transformation of the nation state, increasing trends towards a knowledge-based economy and the ways in which these secondary capital cities position themselves in national urban networks. The proposed research will involve two dissertation projects, which will analyze 1) the transformation of the capital city economy into a regional innovation system and 2) the national positioning of these capital cities. The proposed study builds on an existing research focus on capital cities by the project applicants. This established collaboration will allow us to utilize an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective throughout the theoretical and empirical work. The relevance of this project is twofold: First, a general theory of the political economy of capital cities is missing and will be developed. Second, the research will contribute to a body of basic knowledge about economic development and positioning strategies of capital cities that can serve as a theoretical foundation in urban studies and will contribute to contemporary discussions in public policy.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 04.06.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
The Political Economy of Capital Cities
Mayer Heike, Sager Fritz, Kaufmann David, Warland Martin (2018), The Political Economy of Capital Cities, Routledge, London.
Peculiarities of public sector clients in service innovations
Warland Martin, Mayer Heike (2017), Peculiarities of public sector clients in service innovations, in The Service Industries Journal , 105-124.
Wirtschaftliche Dynamik und Innovation in der Hauptstadtregion Washington D. C.
MayerHeike (2017), Wirtschaftliche Dynamik und Innovation in der Hauptstadtregion Washington D. C., in Geographische Rundschau, 11, 10-16.
Bern`s positioning strategies: Escaping the fate of a secondary capital city?
Kaufmann David, Warland Martin, Mayer Heike, Sager Fritz (2016), Bern`s positioning strategies: Escaping the fate of a secondary capital city?, in Cities, 53, 120-129.
Capital city dynamics: Linking regional innovation systems, locational policies and policy regimes
Heike Mayer Fritz Sager David Kaufmann Martin Warland (2016), Capital city dynamics: Linking regional innovation systems, locational policies and policy regimes, in Cities, 50, 206-215.
What kinds of regional innovation systems occur around federal agencies?
Warland Martin (2016), What kinds of regional innovation systems occur around federal agencies?, Center for Regional Economic Development, University of Bern, Bern.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
2016 APSA Annual Conference Talk given at a conference Coordination in Secondary Capital City Regions: An Institutionalist Approach 02.09.2016 Philadelphia, United States of America Sager Fritz; Kaufmann Christen David;
IPSA 2016, 24rd World Congress of Political Science Talk given at a conference Overcoming institutional constraints? Regional horizontal coordination in four secondary capital city regions 24.07.2016 Poznan, Poland Sager Fritz; Kaufmann Christen David;
2016 SPSA Annual Conference Talk given at a conference City Promotion by Coordination: Comparing four Secondary Capital City Regions 21.01.2016 Basel, Switzerland Sager Fritz; Kaufmann Christen David;
10th International Regional Innovation Policies Conference Talk given at a conference Knowledge-intensive business service firms in capital cities innovation systems 15.10.2015 Karlsruhe, Germany Warland Martin;
IPSA 2014, 23rd World Congress of Political Science Talk given at a conference Innovation, Coordination, and Positioning: Locational Policies of Secondary Capital City Regions 20.07.2015 Montreal, Canada Kaufmann Christen David;
Governance Innovation Lecture Series Individual talk Understanding Ottawa's Capital City Knowledge Economy 19.05.2015 Ottawa, Canada Warland Martin; Kaufmann Christen David;
Lunch Talk Series, Universiteit Leiden Individual talk Capital city knowledge dynamics in Den Haag 04.11.2014 Den Haag, Netherlands Kaufmann Christen David; Warland Martin;
Association of American Geographers, Annual Meeting Talk given at a conference The Role of Capital Cities in the Public Procurement for Innovation Process 08.04.2014 Tampa, United States of America Warland Martin;
2014 SPSA Annual Conference Talk given at a conference Locational policies in secondary capital cities: Constructing a dynamic framework 30.01.2014 Bern, Switzerland Kaufmann Christen David;
The 2nd Geography of Innovation Conference 2014 Talk given at a conference Innovation Systems of Secondary Capital Cities: The Role of KIBS in Public Procurement Processes 23.01.2014 Utrecht, Netherlands Warland Martin; Mayer Heike;
8. Raumaneignung Talk given at a conference Soziale Netzwerkanalyse zur Identifikation von Wissensinteraktionen 06.12.2013 Nürnberg, Germany Warland Martin;
Eu-SPRI Early Career Researcher Conference Talk given at a conference Innovation Systems of Secondary Capital Cities: The Role of KIBS in Public Procurement Processes 02.10.2013 Lund, Sweden Warland Martin;
2013 EGPA Annual Conference Talk given at a conference How to rise and shine: Positioning strategies of secondary capital cities 13.09.2013 Edinbrugh, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Sager Fritz; Kaufmann Christen David;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Workshop on Economic Geography of Capital Cities 13.03.2014 Bern, Switzerland

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Agora - INNO Futures Talk 12.11.2014 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Mayer Heike; Warland Martin;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Platform Bern: Wirtschaftsstrukturen und Strategien in Hauptstädten: Der Grossraum Bern im Vergleich German-speaking Switzerland 2016

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
151507 INNO-FUTURES - Territorial innovation approaches, practices and policies: What futures? 01.03.2014 Agora

Abstract

Global and world city theories as well as new approaches to metropolitanization challenge the traditional role and centrality of capital cities. More specifically, capital cities that are not the dominant economic centers of their nations - so-called secondary capital cities - tend to be overlooked in the fields of economic geography and political science and there is a lack of research and resulting theory describing their political economy. Yet, capital cities play an important role in shaping the political, economic, social and cultural identity of a nation. As the seat of power and decision making, capital cities represent a nation's identity not only through their symbolic architecture but also through their economies and through the ways in which they position themselves in national networks. Yet, the decline of the nation state, the rise of transnational institutions, the ascendance of global or world cities, and the increasing concentration of the knowledge economy in a few dominant metropolitan areas has challenged the traditional role and centrality of capital cities. Secondary capital cities are struggling with these trends in particular, because they lack the economic functions of more established commercial cities or multi-functional capitals such as London, Paris or Tokyo. Economic geography and political science research, however, has marginalized capital cities. As a consequence, there is no cohesive theory about secondary capital cities. This project will add to our understanding of the political economy of secondary capital cities in federalist nations. From a more theoretical point of view, understanding the role of capital cities lies at the core of contemporary theories of urbanization and globalization. The significance of global and world cities has long been observed by social scientists, but the role of capital cities has largely been neglected. Particularly in a time when contemporary globalization has had a great impact on the way urban economies relate and interact, and when economic crises have revealed the significance of political regulation and intervention, it is important to examine the capital city as the seat of power and decision making. We are interested in explaining secondary capital cities for two reasons: a) capital cities can be conceptualized as “information cities”, “information brokers” or “transactional cities”. These concepts describe how the overall shift of the economy towards knowledge, information and services may have transformed the capital city economy. However, we do not know in what ways the private sector (e.g. knowledge intensive business service firms or so-called KIBS) interacts with the public sector in the capital city economy and how that creates a complex regional innovation system. b) Capital cities have traditionally depended on the nation state and as domesticated host city of the national government, these capital cities have been mired in a comfortable dependence on the very state they were hosting. Yet, secondary capital cities are increasingly subject to urban competition like any other metropolitan area and therefore their political leaders are active in repositioning the capital city in urban networks. This comparative research project examines the changing economic and political roles of secondary capital cities. We propose to examine the economic dynamics within the capital city and to analyze the ways in which these capital cities position themselves in global and national urban systems. We utilize an interdisciplinary perspective that is informed by theories of economic geography and political science because processes of economic restructuring and political positioning are inextricably interrelated and need to be examined together. Our research consists of a comparison of four secondary capital cities in Western countries, which differ in terms of their economic strength and dynamic. The comparative case study design will examine the ways in which the role of capital cities has changed over time in response to the historical transformation of the nation state, increasing trends towards a knowledge-based economy and the ways in which these secondary capital cities position themselves in national urban networks. The proposed research will involve two dissertation projects, which will analyze 1) the transformation of the capital city economy into a regional innovation system and 2) the national positioning of these capital cities. The proposed study builds on an existing research focus on capital cities by the project applicants. This established collaboration will allow us to utilize an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective throughout the theoretical and empirical work. The relevance of this project is twofold: First, a general theory of the political economy of capital cities is missing and will be developed. Second, the research will contribute to a body of basic knowledge about economic development and positioning strategies of capital cities that can serve as a theoretical foundation in urban studies and will contribute to contemporary discussions in public policy.
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