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DEMOLOGOS — Result In Brief

Project ID: 505462
Funded under: FP6-CITIZENS

Picturing development more accurately

New methods that help map real socioeconomic development are now factoring a myriad of considerations such as spatial scale, resources, regulations and discourse as rhetoric.
Picturing development more accurately
Europe's economic future is counting on a strong knowledge society as its main competitive advantage over the rest of the world. The EU-funded project 'Development models and logics of socio-economic organization in space' (Demologos) investigated socioeconomic development paths and models that advance the knowledge society. It employed novel ways and tools to map socioeconomic development in different spatial variables, i.e. countries, regions and cities.

Demologos built case study methodologies based on different elements. One of these concerns the dialectics of change and space-time fixes, focusing on periods of change or stability. Another concerns form analysis and mediations between different scales, focusing on institutions that facilitate and consolidate the regionalisation of socioeconomic development.

In addition, the case studies examined national development dynamics influenced by state regulations and institutions. They incorporated variants on local, regional, international and global regimes or modes of regulation as well.

The project explored three different approaches to power as a social relation, one of which is resources such as labour power, land, money and others that actors exploit. The second involves institutions, organisations and interpersonal relations, while the third is represented by the structural-institutional dynamics that create or destroy potential for collective action.

Another important factor that influences the knowledge society is discourse analysis, particularly rhetoric and its economic impact on investment decisions, policymaking and employment strategies, among others. Interestingly, the project found that discourse analysis clouds the understanding of real development and that discourse as a development tool or policy catalyst is not being considered in development case studies.

Case study methodology can reveal a wealth of information on the role of and scale of local agencies, institution building and policy-oriented discursive chains. Demologos, for example, found weaknesses in counter-hegemonic projects and movements that affect development. These and many other results have the potential to assist nations in analysing case studies in order to further knowledge building and promote development considerably.

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