Regional Studies Association Inaugural Australasian Conference 2015

Rethinking the Region & Regionalism in Australasia: Challenges & Opportunities for the 21st Century

Date and location

  •  31st August, 2015 – 2nd September, 2015
  •  RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

Conference details

REGISTRATION OPEN NOW!

Cities and regions in Australia and New Zealand have experienced more than 30 years of social and demographic dynamism as a consequence of micro economic reform, greater engagement with the global networks of production, new patterns of migration, rising national prosperity and the shift towards a service based economy.   In many respects, the antipodean nations have led the world in the process of economic liberalisation, stripping away regulations to move from being some of the most protected economies in the OECD in the 1960s to amongst the most open economies in the 21st Century. For some regions, cities and towns change has resulted in growth, while for others the last three decades have been marked by fluctuating fortunes and even decline. Public sector reform at the national, provincial/state and local levels have contributed to these processes of change, calling into question both previous paradigms and policy settings.  These changes have had immense impacts for academics and other researchers involved in the study of regions, resulting in the development of new theoretical positions and the need to engage with a much broader set of intellectual arguments.  This, the first Regional Studies Association, event in Australasia seeks to contribute to the growth in academic dialogue at the local and global scales.

Rethinking the Region and Regionalism in Australasia seeks contributions from researchers, policy makers and practitioners working in all areas of regional analysis, especially those focussed on Australasia. Themes of interest to the conference include:

  • Regions at the end of the mining boom;
  • Governance and the regions;
  • The institutional determinants of growth and development;
  • Population processes in the regions;
  • First nations – Maori and Indigenous Australians – and the regions;
  • Housing, social services and infrastructure;
  • Measuring wellbeing, happiness and progress at the regional scale;
  • Ecological Sustainability;
  • Climate Change and the Future of Regional Systems;
  • Smart Specialisation;
  • Regions and the Global Financial Crisis;
  • City Regions in Australasia and other  parts of the globe; and,
  • Achieving local economic growth.

One aspect of these themes that could be considered and will be welcomed is the ‘cultural’ dimension of change, as reflected in emerging approaches to addressing change by local governments across the world.

Submission of papers


Please submit proposals for papers in the form of a 400-500 word abstract (text only, no pictures, graphs or tables) through the Regional Studies Association online portal by 11th May 2015. Registration and abstract submission is open now!

Please note that this conference has limited places; successful candidates will be notified within two weeks of the closing date. Proposals will be considered by the Conference Programming Committee against the criteria of originality, interest and subject balance.

Conference Fees

Regular Conference Fee *Student and **Early Career Conference Fee
£350.00 ($690) £285.00 ($563.00)

* Full time student
** Early career is defined as 5 years post PhD

Please note that there are only a limited number of student and early career places for this event. Reduced option will be removed once limit is reached, so early booking is advised. 

Click here to register

Conference organisers

Conference organisation
Professor Andrew Beer, the University of Adelaide, Australia
Professor Peter Fairbrother, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

RSA Organiser:
Please contact Elizabeth Mitchell at elizabeth.mitchell@regionalstudies.org for further details and questions regarding abstract submission.