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5(Special Issue)/2006

Bolesław Domański

Critique of the Concept of Development and Regional Studies

The article was published in Polish in "Studia Regionalne i Lokalne", 2/2004


At the end of the 20th century the concept of development as a synonym of modernisation and progress came under heavy criticism, together with its various forms such as Europeanisation. It has been criticised for treating development as a teleological, uniform, linear, normalising and instrumental process. Such an approach is frequently underpinned by the concept of dichotomous division of space. Post-development criticism includes various ideologies, such as conservative anti-modernism, neo-liberal rejection of state interventionism and leftist cultural relativism. The author claims that the main weaknesses of the development concept stem from unfounded generalisations with respect to the object, time and space in which such processes are observed. Such weaknesses can be overcome without adopting radically post-modernist positions, rejecting any valuation of regional development trajectories. Regional studies may treat development as an open process, not necessarily leading to predetermined outcomes and not always following the paths taken by the more developed regions. There exist different development paths that are nonlinear processes, in which endogenous factors, such as activity of local actors, play a significant role.

Bolesław Domański: Instytut Geografii i Gospodarki Przestrzennej UJ (ul. Gronostajowa 7, 30-387 Kraków);
Stanisław Furman

Poland in European Space: The Urban Perspective

The article was published in Polish in "Studia Regionalne i Lokalne", 3/2004


The paper assesses the state and conditions of the development of Polish cities in the context of processes and issues that occur in the cities of highly developed European countries. The latter, particularly those located at the very core of Europe, enter a new phase of development. Interconnected through networks of various links, the countries form economically integrated urban spaces characterised by the highest competitive potential in the global economy, at the same time losing their nature of self-contained, self-standing socio-economic systems. The author describes the underlying processes, pointing to the fact that they are visible in Poland, but rather not yet advanced. Poland is a country of retarded urbanisation with insufficiently competitive in Europe economic base of cities, quite well-developed human capital, but with mediocre social capital and low quality urban space. The main challenges of Polish cities` development are outlined from the perspective of European integration, including a discussion of the most common visions of European cities of the 21st century, in the context of developmental aims and ways to attain them.

Stanisław Furman: Towarzystwo Urbanistów Polskich (ul. Lwowska 5/100 Warszawa 00-660)
Grzegorz Gorzelak

Poland’s Regional Policy and Disparities in the Polish Space

The article was published in Polish in "Studia Regionalne i Lokalne", 4/2004


The paper discusses regional disparities in Poland in their many dimensions and aspects economic, social and political. Individual phenomena basically have a similar spatial representation, which can be seen as a corroboration of the well-known thesis on the existence of a strong interdependency of many phenomena in the development process. The historical underpinnings of these disparities prove once again that they are the products of "long duration` processes. Both characteristics of these differences, showing their complexity and historical factors suggest caution as to what can realistically be expected of regional policy because it can change the objective reality only gradually and only to a limited extent. The paper ends with some recommendations for regional policy.

Grzegorz Gorzelak: Uniwersytet Warszawski, Centrum Europejskich Studiów Regionalnych i Lokalnych (EUROREG), (ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 30, 00-927 Warszawa);
Mikołaj Herbst

Human Capital Formation in Poland. Where Does Educational Quality Come From?

The article was published in Polish in "Studia Regionalne i Lokalne", 3/2004


Theory and empirical literature relate educational quality to two main explanatory factors: family education (intergenerational transfer of human capital) and the quality of schools. The model proposed in this paper is intended to verify the significance of these factors in explaining territorial disparities in educational quality in Poland. The dependent variable is the test score of sixth grade pupils in 2002, averaged at municipality level. The test results prove to be strongly correlated with human capital stock in the municipality`s adult population, which points to the key role of intergenerational transfer for educational quality. On the other hand, the role of school resources (understood as expenditure on education) is rather small. Average test results differ significantly between Poland`s historical divisions. Surprisingly, the more urbanised and relatively affluent regions, like Greater Poland (Wielkopolska), Pomerania (Pomorze) and the so-called Regained Territories (ziemie odzyskane) reveal a substantially lower educational quality than the territories in the east and south-east of the country, generally less developed and with a significant share of agriculture in the economy. These differences can only be partly explained by an additional environmental factor, related to the prevalence of state-owned economy before 1990 (e.g. state farms PGRs) and today`s high structural unemployment. Interestingly, the dissimilarities between the historical regions are not only illustrated by average test score levels, but also by parameters of the determining functions for these results. It can be concluded therefore that location in a historical region has a substantial impact on the flexibility of educational outcomes with regard to different explanatory factors.

Mikołaj Herbst: Uniwersytet Warszawski, Centrum Europejskich Studiów Regionalnych i Lokalnych (EUROREG), (ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 30, 00-927 Warszawa);
Bohdan Jałowiecki

Polish Cities and Metropolisation Processes

The article was published in Polish in "Studia Regionalne i Lokalne", 1/2005


Metropolisation is one of the most dynamic processes of contemporary world, changing the existing settlement patterns and creating new relations between large cities. In the recent years, metropolisation has also come to include Central and Eastern European countries. The paper looks at the role of these countries in the European metropolitan network, and describes the process of the emergence of Polish metropolises, in addition to their social and spatial transformation.

Bohdan Jałowiecki: Uniwersytet Warszawski, Centrum Europejskich Studiów Regionalnych i Lokalnych (EUROREG), (ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 30, 00-927 Warszawa);
Piotr Korcelli

Replacement Migration and the Dilemmas of Migration Policy

The article was published in Polish in "Studia Regionalne i Lokalne", 3/2004


The notion of replacement migration is frequently used in recent literature on migration policy and demographic forecasts. Such migration streams could theoretically compensate for the natural decrease and population ageing, observed in most of developed countries. In the long run, however, international migration can only slow down, rather than reverse these processes. In this respect, the situation in Poland is unique as its migration balance will most likely remain negative until around 2020. Nevertheless, the population outflow abroad could to some extent be offset by the population inflow. This would require, among other conditions, a reformulation of Poland`s migration policy, with an increase of provisions enabling selective legal immigration, preventing at the same time the so-called irregular immigration. Such provisions are already being implemented in some EU countries (including Germany), and in the future will probably form the basis of EU migration policy.

Piotr Korcelli: Instytut Geografii i Przestrzennego Zagospodarowania PAN (ul. Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warszawa);
Iwona Sagan

Contemporary Regional Studies – Theory, Methodology and Practice

The article was published in Polish in "Studia Regionalne i Lokalne", 2/2004


The paper offers a review of the evolution in defining and describing regions, showing mutual relationships between particular approaches and logical succession between various analytical concepts of the region. The analysis highlights the strong relationship between individual theories and overall social change. Three main approaches to regional research are outlined: the chorological approach, Regional Science and contemporary social and cultural interpretations of the region. Each approach is presented in three perspectives: theoretical, methodological and practical. The changing role and status of geographical research in regional studies is also discussed.

Iwona Sagan: Wydział Oceanografii i Geografii, Uniwersytet Gdański (al. Marszałka Piłsudskiego 46, 81-378 Gdynia);