B. Topic Themes - Seminar on Regional Economics

1st group: International migration

  • Economic immigrants: advantages and disadvantages for the countries of origin
  • Migration to third countries (e.g. Albanians to Greece)
  • International migration to rural areas
  • Economic immigrants: self-employed, entrepreneurs, etc.
  • Ethnic entrepreneurship in Greece
  • Shops with Chinese products in Greece
  • Repatriation of economic immigrants (e.g. Albanian immigrants from Italy and Greece returning to Albania)
  • Immigrants coming from abroad to Greece
  • Foreign immigrants in Greece: the ‘picture’ through secondary data (Census of the Greek National Statistics Service, 2001)
  • International Retired Migration


2nd group: Internationalisation of capital

  • Foreign Direct Investments, international subcontracting, international networks
  • Greek industry in the Balkans
  • Greek multinational companies
  • Headquarters and regional headquarters: criteria for choosing their location
  • Greek investments in the Balkans
  • The successful development of a clothing company in the Balkans: the case of Fanco
  • Relocation of companies to ‘China’: the ‘picture’ through the Greek and foreign press
  • Triangular manufacturing
  • Immigrants going to a country whose companies are at the same time ‘leaving’ for immigrants’ country of origin (e.g. Albanians to Greece-Greek companies to Albania, Mexicans to the US-US companies to Mexico)


3rd group: Areas in crises

  • Companies of a specific area going out of business (e.g. Thessaloniki)
  • The de-industrialisation of a city: the case of Naousa today


4th group: Regional development – Regional policy in Greece

  • The evolution of regional disparities through the years (e.g. on the county level: GDP/habitant, etc)
  • The evolution of regional policies through the years
  • The evolution of the distribution of industry within Greece
  • The evolution of the settlements network in Greece
  • Depopulation of villages / Abandoned settlements


5th group: Other indicative topics

I. Theories

  • Theories for the location of activities, I: industry-II: offices-trade
  • Regional development theories: of development-of underdevelopment
  • Human resources – Immigration
  • Natural resources – sustainable development
  • Regional policies
  • Evaluation of regional policies
  • Urbanisation – settlements network – the crisis of the rural areas
  • Cities and regions in competition
  • Organisation of the urban space
  • Justice in space: theory and practice
  • Technology and regional development – Scientific parks – High technology business parks – Learning region
  • Infrastructure and regional development

II. Empirical examples: the international experience

  • Online auctions (of flowers in the Netherlands, etc)
  • EU agencies in a country/city: impacts on the local development
  • Mechanisms for the internationalisation of the European cities
  • Promotion of cities and regions through the internet (Regional Development Agencies/City marketing through the website)
  • Areas of industrial decay in the EU
  • Development problems encountered by very small countries (Monaco, Vatican, etc)
  • High technology business parks: the international experience
  • The politics of the ‘new cities’
  • Location of hypermarkets/large super markets/department stores/offices
  • Free Enterprise Zones
  • Location of a large multinational company
  • The history of one industrial sector on the international or Greek level
  • Border regions and their new role within the EU – development issues


III. Empirical examples: Greece

  • Growth – fall – growth of a region: development prospects for some areas that until recently were underdeveloped and were watching their population leave: Zagorochoria, Pilio, Monemvasia
  • Areas in de-industrialisation crisis: development issues in developed countries that recently underwent through a crisis (e.g. Neoreio Syrou, Evoia, Kastoria, Kozani, Lavrio)
  • Thessaloniki as a regional centre of South-East Europe (location of International Organisations, Headquarters and Embassies). ‘New’ Organisations in Thessaloniki that upgrade its role (CEDEFOP, European Agency for Reconstruction, Black Sea Trade and Development Bank)
  • Evaluation of the role of Thessaloniki in the wider area – Balkans/reconstruction
  • Evaluation of the socio-economic implications that big events have on the local economy of the areas they take place in (Olympic Games, festivals, capitals of culture)
  • Evaluation of the economic implications that large units have on the local economy they are located in (e.g. Higher Technical Educational Institution, Hotels, Universities, Military camps)
  • Mobilisation of areas contesting for the creation of large industrial units/universities/military camps at their premises
  • Contractual agriculture (milk, tomato, etc)
  • Networks of enterprises
  • Compensational benefits for the creation of Sanitary Burial Areas
  • Interlocking Directorates in Greece
  • Productive enterprises with more than one factories (ICAP)
  • Location of enterprises (Henninger, Coca-Cola, etc) or industry sectors
  • Development issues in ‘mono-cultural’ areas (e.g. Kastoria: Furs, Zakynthos and Rhodes: subcontracting of puppets for the ‘El Greco’ brand, Public Power Corporation: Kozani-Ptolemaida)
  • Location of commercial activities within the city (e.g. allocation of video clubs or H/Y stores in Thessaloniki)- spatial specialisation
  • The spatial impacts of subcontracting productive relations on manufacturing or on the service sector


The papers can be done in groups of no more than three students and are turned in a week after the end of the exam period. Students are obliged to present a draft of their paper during the course.