Summer School on ‘Local government in motion – Local innovation in changing contexts’ | 2020

A new book: Close Ties in European Local Governance – Linking Local State and Society
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Date: September 13 to 16, 2021
Location: Chania (Crete/Greece) at the Center of Mediterranean Architecture (KAM) (the former Arsenali Veneziani)
Course directors: Prof. Dr. Nikolaos Hlepas and Prof. Dr. Björn Egner

Course Description
The 2021 summer school is aimed at doctoral and advanced students in master’s programmes who want to answer the question of why innovation has been achieved in certain cities (and not in others).
Innovations are defined in the context of the summer school in a broad sense – namely as “new ideas that work”. Furthermore, innovations are seen as something that is perceived by locals (as well as by external observers) as novelties and improvements at the same time. The concept of innovation is therefore not limited to technical changes. However, special attention should be given to local policy innovations. Moreover, the notion of innovation is contextualised in that it is based on the understanding of local actors.

Participants should look at local innovations either from an academic disciplinary perspective (political science, sociology, geography, history, planning) or follow an interdisciplinary approach.

The summer school will be a mixture of key notes given by established scholars and presentations by the doctoral and advanced MA students about the design and (preliminary) results of their own research.
The following key notes are planned:
– Prof. Dr. Hubert Heinelt: How to explain that innovations have been achieved in certain cities – and not in others? Initial epistemological reflections
– Prof. Dr. Georgios Terizakis: Interpretations of local possibilities and limits for action as key to innovations
– Prof. Dr. Filipe Teles: Urban innovation, networks and institutional adaptation – an overview of global trends
– Prof. Dr. Nicolaos Hlepas: There is no guarantee for continuous local innovation processes – the cases of Athens and Thessaloniki
– Prof. Dr. Chunrong Zheng: Innovations in urban and community governance in China: Cases and Reflections
– Prof. Dr. Björn Egner: Empirical methods to explain differences in innovations – the case of local housing policy in Germany
– Prof. Dr. Bas Denters: Innovations in local government: understanding the dynamics. The strengths and weaknesses of quantitative comparative approaches
– Prof. Dr. Sybille Münch: Empirical methods to understand differences in innovations – reflections from an interpretive perspective

Costs for accommodation for up to five nights in Chania will be paid for the participating PhD students and MA students. In addition, the organisers may assume part of the travel costs in case of special need. A corresponding request must be submitted together with the application.

Deadline for application: An abstract (up to 500 words) of the planned presentation should be send by the applicants to until the end of April 2021 to Prof. Dr. Björn Egner (

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