On this page you can find preliminary scientific papers of the research group Social and Economic Geography of the Department of Geography and Geology – University of Salzburg. The main purpose of these papers is to share our recent research with other social scientists, to make our findings available to interested readers and to elicit feedback on our work.  Whereas the specific topics of the working papers cover different research areas, the common denominator of all these papers are Geographies of Uneven Development.

Koen SMET, Elisabeth NAGL, Florian RÄTZER, Thomas Nakon SCHERER, Julia SCHUSTER & Christoph STEINER (2015)
From Land to Housing - A GPN Approach of Salzburg
University of Salzburg, Department of Geography and Geology, Geographies of Uneven Development – Working Paper, 2/2015, No. 7

Abstract

This paper takes a closer look on the production processes of housing and opens up the black box of the land-housing nexus.  By means of the GPN approach different stakeholders are identified and the intra- and inter-firm relations are analysed.  The outcome, which is based on interviews set in the context of Salzburg, shows a tendency towards vertical integration.  Moreover, the influence of the financial sector as well as of regulation cannot be neglected.  Whereas the turbulences of the financial and economic crisis made credit providers more prudent, (private) investors re-discovered residential real estate as an attractive financial asset.  The GPN of housing is subject to different regulations.  In the case of Salzburg the strict regulation of building areas as well as the organisation of a state-aided housing segment creates the basis of different sub-markets.

Keywords: Residential Real Estate, Global Production Network, Qualitative Research, Housing, Construction Industry, Land-Housing Nexus

 

Elisabeth DONAT & Madeleine KOCH (2015) Exploring Social and Spatial Opportunities to Move Within a City – A Resident’s Perspective on Urban Mobility. University of Salzburg, Department of Geography and Geology, Geographies of Uneven Development – Working Paper, 2/2015, No. 6

Abstract

The unequally distributed opportunities for being mobile lead to consequences on mobility patterns of individuals and distinct social groups within urban environments. In- and exclusion processes occur that have wide influence on social and spatial inequalities and by this considerable effect the quality of life of urban residents. Placement and movement of objects, humans and locations are constantly in transition; also relations between them are altering (Urry 2006). Meanwhile the structures of inequality in space are institutionalized by repetitive behaviour of urban citizens (Löw 2001) and varying extension of action spaces and different levels of local knowledge among residents strengthen inequalities in distribution, utilization and acquisition of urban space. In this paper we focus on individual socio-spatial arrangements and mobility practices to investigate urban resident’s perspective on mobility and their individual opportunities to move within a city to fulfil their everyday needs and daily routines. We conducted a case study in the city of Salzburg, to explore the hidden factors of mobility orientations, preferences and aversions to specific mobility styles and behaviours of urban citizens from various social milieus. We investigate the complex argumentation structures of travel mode choices that had to be traced back to tangible and intangible aspects of individual and collective mobility. This qualitative approach enables us to explore, how manifold mobility patterns in urban space appear and how social milieus and mobility patterns are linked. By focusing on varying self-concepts in public space we suggest to distinguish between three empirical types of residents: top dogs, transient and modest when analysing mobility patterns of urban residents.

Keywords: mobility patterns, local knowledge, action spaces, social and spatial inequality, social milieus, qualitative survey, case study, urban sociology, urban geography, social geography

SCHODER, Jörg (2014) Inequality with Ordinal Data. Cross-Disciplinary Review of Methodologies and Application to Life Satisfaction in Europe. University of Salzburg, Department of Geography and Geology, Geographies of Uneven Development – Working Paper, 12/2014, No. 5

Abstract

Ordinal data are ubiquitously available and frequently employed in empirical research. A review of methodological approaches from various scientific fields shows that in different fields of the social sciences rather distinct methods for measuring inequality are applied without appreciating works in other disciplines. Synthesizing these works leads to the proposal of a research design, which combines dominance criteria and inequality measures from different families. This design is applied to the most recent data on life satisfaction in Europe, a field of research continuing to gain political importance but typically building onquestionable methodologies. Hence, empirical results presented are valuable in several respects. One important finding is that specific measures are not consistent as re-rankings frequently occur. It seems this is not primarily due to the underlying data being ordinal, butmore because dominance can hardly be found. Indeed, the underlying 0-10 Likert-scale appears to cause a dilemma as the Allison-Foster principle of dominance turns out to be restrictive when applied to relatively dense scales.

Keywords: Inequality with ordinal data, dominance, problems of cardinalization, cohesion, life satisfaction, bootstrapped confidence intervals

KOCH, Andreas (2014) Quod Erat Expectandum. The Modus Operandi of Models and Quantifications. University of Salzburg, Department of Geography and Geology, Geographies of Uneven Development – Working Paper, 11/2014, No. 4

Abstract

This paper is a plea for a computational social geography (CSG). It argues that neglecting quantitative approaches in social geography leaves empirical socio-spatial facts incomplete. Numbers and their emergence through quantitative methods are indeed one possibility to raise a kind of uniqueness tofacts, phenomena, and events which cannot be realized by other approaches. CSG makes relationsvisible and comparable. It does so by applying the model approach adequately, i.e., to not equate models with reality and to explicate the model purpose. As is the case with all other scientific approaches, computational or analytical social geography is inherently bounded by reductionism. Scale, entity, and context are the inextricable reductionist ingredients of modeling relationships between the social and the spatial. Recently, significant efforts have been put towards a critical quantitative geography that takes past weaknesses seriously into account and delineates its strengths as a progressive social science.

Keywords: quantitative approaches in social geography, modeling and simulating socio-spatialprocesses, epistemology of models, critical quantitative geography

 

SEIWALD, Markus (2014) The institutional sustainability of intermediaries’ business models in the Austrian Biomass District Heating Niche. University of Salzburg, Department of Geography and Geology, Geographies of Uneven Development – Working Paper, 05/2014, No. 3

Abstract
In the Strategic Niche Management literature the establishment and especially expansion of socio-technical configurations is termed as Upscaling of Technological Niches (Schot and Geels 2008). Actors that participate in local projects share their experiences with other projects. They compare and aggregate lessons and thereby contribute to create an emerging technological trajectory. Building on Geels and Deuten (2006), Hargreaves et al. (2013) stress the role of intermediary organizations in this process. Previous research on the biomass district heating (BMDH) niche in Austria also stressed the key role that intermediaries played for the introduction of the new socio-technical configuration. However, these studies focus on the early phase of technology diffusion. The subsequent growth phase was characterized by a series of changes that shaped the evolutionary trajectory of the niche. Intermediaries were forced in turn to adapt their organizational structures and business strategies to a changing selection environment. Departing from these observations the paper proposes possible reasons for the successful adaptation of intermediary organizations to the changed circumstances. It follows a case study approach and portraits two intermediaries – one successful and one failed. The findings suggest that the set-up of the intermediary’s organizational structures was a central factor determining success. A framework following the approach by Minsch et al. (1998) for designing sustainable institutional arrangements is proposed as a possible starting point for further investigations into the diffusion of renewable energy technologies.

Keywords: sustainability transitions, strategic niche management, intermediary organizations, energy entrepreneurship


SMET, Koen (2014) City Regeneration Processes and Housing Prices. University of Salzburg, Department of Geography and Geology, Geographies of Uneven Development – Working Paper, 05/2014, No. 2

Abstract
Since the 1970s urban areas are increasingly characterised by an active stance towards economic growth. This change in urban policy, often referred to as urban entrepreneurialism, envelops different city regeneration processes (CRP). This paper contributes to the academic debate by developing a theoretical framework that allows the analysis of the effect of CRP on the cost of housing. Through an ambitious combination of rent theory with a régulation-approach the different role of built environment in two CRP ideal-types are discussed. The two, non-exlusive CRP considered in this paper are defined as "places of production" and "places of consumption".

Keywords: City regeneration processes, CRP, urban entrepreneurialism, urban governance, cost of housing, rent theory, urban areas, built environment, real estate, capital accumulation, regulation approach, circuits of capital, places of production, places of consumption.


Koen SMET & Markus SEIWALD (2014).Bergbau als Entwicklungschance? Ein Vergleich zwischen Ecuador und Südafrika. University of Salzburg, Department of Geography and Geology, Geographies of Uneven Development – Working Paper, 05/2014, No. 1

Abstract
Die Boomphase im Bergbausektor seit 2003 hat die Diskussion über dasEntwicklungspotenzial dieser Industrie für Länder des Globalen Südens wieder angekurbelt.Der vorliegende Beitrag argumentiert, dass diese Frage nicht pauschal beantwortet werdenkann, da die Minenwirtschaft unterschiedliche sozio-ökonomische Formen annimmt. Dazubedient er sich des Konzepts der Globalen Produktionsnetzwerke, das die Dimensionen Staat,Akteure und internationales Umfeld in die Analyse miteinbezieht. Anhand eines Vergleichszwischen Ecuador und Südafrika wird gezeigt, wie Differenzen in einer spezifischen sozioökonomischenKonstellation das Entwicklungspotenzial beeinflussen. Wir argumentieren dassdieses Potenzial eines ökonomischen Sektors nicht deterministisch bestimmt ist, sonderndurch eine komplexe Interaktionsstruktur zwischen den beteiligten Akteuren geprägt wird.

Keywords: Bergbau, Entwicklung, Entwicklungspotenzial, resource curse, Ressourcenfluch,Globale Produktionsnetzwerke, Global Production Networks, GPN, Bodenrente ,Rentenverteilung, Ecuador, Südafrika.

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