Insegnamento a.a. 2017-2018



Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31
CLMG (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/06) - M (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/06) - IM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/06) - MM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/06) - AFC (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/06) - CLEFIN-FINANCE (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/06) - CLELI (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/06) - ACME (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/06) - DES-ESS (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/06) - EMIT (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/06) - GIO (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/06)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Course Objectives

The course aims at understanding what the economic rationale, the effects, and the policy implications of territorial competition in a global world are.

Well over half of the world’s population now lives in cities, generating more than 80% of global GDP. Given the rapid growth and development of many cities, competition between them for businesses, investments and talents will only get fiercer. Cities and regions are the main focus of the course, it concentrate on numerous and different ‘ingredients’ shaping their competitiveness and their sustainability over time.

Beyond territorial competitiveness innovation and talents exert a dramatic impact: the aim of the course is to provide the theoretical and operational tools useful to grasp the role of technology, soft innovation and human capital on urban and regional change and growth.

Course Content Summary

The general objective of the course is to give students relevant insights into various aspects of the evolving paths of cities and regions. The course has been designed both for students interested in ‘meso economics’ (in between micro firms and actors and macro States and governments), and for students interested in multi-level governance for competitiveness, innovation and talents. The presentation of real world case studies further enhances the link between theoretical frames and specific policies.

The course is divided into four modules

  • The first one provides a critical insight in the main contemporary literature in discussing the role and the changing dimensions of cities on a global scale.
  • The second module analyses the concept of region and its intertwined linkages with the city. Concepts such as ‘global city-region’ is addressed in some detail.
  • The third one is devoted to the analysis of innovation networks and their urban and regional dimensions. The concepts of ‘clusters’ and ‘islands of innovation’ are widely used to look at the dynamic paths of territories.
  • The fourth one develops an analysis of urban and regional job markets and their recent evolution within the paradigm of the knowledge-driven economy. Policies to develop human capital and to attract talents are presented in depth.
In developing the four main contents of the course we come through two specific tools widely applied in the relevant literature: composite indicators (the ‘global city competitiveness index’ or the ‘regional innovation scoreboard’, to name but a few) and network analysis.

The course dedicates some time to deepen these technical tools, allowing students to become ‘users’ at least at an intermediate level.

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

Partial exams are not scheduled.

For attending students

Written exam based on the course materials: short open questions and multiple choices; pro-active class participation. The final grade is determined by weighing grades for the following components (valid for the 3 exam sessions of 2018)

  • 30% discussions and class participation.
  • 70% final written exam.

For non attending students

Pro-active class participation is substituted by a short written essay (around 25.000-30.000 words) agreed in advance with the course Director. The final grade is determined by weighing grades for the following components (valid for the 3 exam sessions of 2018)

  • 30% written essay.
  • 70% final written exam.


The course mixes teaching lectures, guest lectures and class discussion. There is no textbook. Specific readings are provided by the instructors on the course e-Learning.
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)


Last change 23/03/2017 10:40