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ESR6: Leadership and institutional change in peripheralised municipalities (Tartu, Estonia)

December 6, 2013 No tags

Host: University of Tartu, Tartu/Estonia

1 PhD position, full-time

Duration: September 2014 – August 2017

Up to now little is known about the role public leaders play when it comes to the formation of local and regional policy responses to social and economic polarisation. Efficient policies to propose new forms of development always build on institutional change and certain adaptive capacities. The project will therefore analyse the impact of leadership to these forms of change. It aims at distinguishing a combination of leadership qualities and activities that allow better performance of economic restructuring and utilization of regional policies of peripheral localities and regions. For doing so, the project builds on the Regional Studies Association research network on Leadership and Urban and Regional Development as well as on MEPCO’s manifold experiences with local and regional decision makers.

The fellow will be integrated in the PhD curriculum in Geography at the “Doctoral School in Economics and Innovation” of the University of Tartu.

A secondment is foreseen at MEPCO – International Advisory Centre of Municipalities in Prague/Czech Republic.


–          case study, action research, media analyse and in-depth interviews

–          selection of a number of typical local and regional leaders in peripheral localities of Estonia and the Czech              Republic and following their activities in:

• Local community (and its identity) building (leaders visibility and role in the media);

• Networking and contribution to a (bonding, bridging and linking) social capital of a locality (participation personally and institutionally in different networks);

• Institutional development (creating new/ modifying existing regulations and institutions, lobbying to central/regional government agencies)

• Contribution to concrete economic and social development actions.


–          Masters’ degree in political sciences, geography, economics, sociology or another discipline corresponding            to the topic of the project

–          good knowledge of statistics

–          fluent in English

–          knowledge of CEE  languages would be positive

–          good knowledge of IT-based communication tools

–          readiness to participate in secondments, conferences and workshops

–          excellent communication skills, capacity for teamwork, flexibility and an interest in interdisciplinary                            research

The fellow should contribute to the outreach of the project, especially by:

–          elaboration of a PhD thesis

–          participation in project and WP monographs, joint publications in high ranked journals

–          active participation at scientific conferences, policy workshops etc. at national and EU level

–          participation in media communication, in development of a web-based glossary, in creation of video clips                and podcasts and in spreading project information on EU level using European Commissions’                                       communication tools


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Main Contact Persons
  • Lead Partner: Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography

    Thilo Lang (Project coordinator):

    Franziska Görmar (Project manager): F_Goermar@ifl-leipzig.de

    Franziska Weyrich (Financial manager): F_Weyrich@ifl-leipzig.de

    WP leader for Dissemination and Outreach activities: MEPCO

    Martin Guba:

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