CfP: IJPP Special Issue ‘Local development strategies in peripheral areas: a European challenge’

Maria Giulia Pezzi's picture
Call for Papers
June 30, 2016
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Area Studies, Geography, Political Science, Sociology

The Gran Sasso Science Institute is preparing a special issue of the Italian Journal of Planning Practice on the theme ‘Local development strategies in peripheral areas: a European challenge’. The issue will be edited by Dr. Maria Giulia Pezzi and Dr. Giulia Urso as guest Editors. All proposals submitted will be assessed for suitability and subsequent articles will go through a double blind peer-review process. The issue is expected to be published by December 2016.

The Italian Journal of Planning Practice ( is  a scientific journal indexed by Thomson Reuter’s Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) and in the process of being indexed by SCOPUS, starting with the 2016 issue.



‘Local development strategies in peripheral areas: a European challenge’


Within the framework of the “National Reform Plan” – and against the background of the 2014-2020 Cohesion Policy – the Italian Government has launched the “National Strategy for Inner Areas”. According to the definition adopted, “Inner Areas” cover a vast part of the Italian territory hosting a population of more than 13.540 million. This territory possesses a “territorial capital” of exceptional value and diversity but which is largely unused as a consequence of the long-term demographic decline that began in the 1950s when Italy started its industrial take-off. The strategy – now in its experimental phase – adopted by Italy has the overall objective of promoting local development by activating unused territorial capital through carefully selected development projects. Improving the quality and quantity of the key welfare services (education, health, transport) in the inner areas is a central pillar of that strategy.

Discussing the Italian strategy for inner areas provides an intriguing starting point for broader reflection on European inner (or peripheral) areas and their development trajectories, which addresses some crucial issues in the regional studies debate.

In recent decades Europe’s peripheral areas have had to address the challenge of re-inventing themselves and to undertake the task of finding their place in a more globalized and interconnected world.  A number of new opportunities have been furnished by increased mobility and the greater importance acquired by information and communication technologies, which have resulted in different perceptions of how development policies are interpreted and designed.

The development strategies of peripheral areas in Europe often address social, political and cultural priorities, i.e. reversing the depopulation and marginalisation of these areas, by relying mainly on two key economic policy assets: improving essential services and triggering local development processes. These areas, in fact, have distinctive features. Firstly, they are fragile areas from a socio-demographic point of view because of population ageing. Secondly, they are unstable from an environmental (physical, eco-systemic) point of view as a consequence of insufficient maintenance of their semi-natural capital (human landscapes). Lastly, and more importantly, these are areas in which a significant part of the territorial capital is underexploited or unused. These three characteristics have a crucial social, economic and environmental importance at both a national and local level.

The aim of the issue is to bring together papers that focus, from a policy-oriented, trans-disciplinary perspective, on the following topics, relying on relevant case studies which can help shed light on development policies in peripheral areas:

  • the urban/rural dichotomy and urban/rural interactions;
  • future development trajectories of remote, mountainous, rural areas;
  • theoretical and practical approaches to the concept of peripherality;
  • the polycentric urban region and polycentric development policies;
  • the endogenous dynamics of local systems and the effects of policies on them;
  • welfare, social policies and access to essential services;
  • mobility and accessibility in peripheral areas;
  • culture, tourism and destination marketing in marginal territorial contexts;
  • the language of policy-making.

You are invited to contribute to this forthcoming issue and offer fresh insight into this topic.



Submission Process

Abstracts of 300-400 words, written in English, should be submitted for selection to and .

Contributions will be on a voluntary basis.


The abstracts submission deadline is June 30th, 2016.

Acceptance will be notified by July 15st, 2016

Full papers are expected to be sent by October 1st 2016 (changes might apply)


The following information should be included with the abstract:

- Title of submitted paper

- Name(s) of Author(s), affiliation, email

- Professional background/current position

The Italian Journal of Planning Practice is currently published in English language only. For this reason, proposals in other languages unfortunately cannot be considered for publication.

Further Information

For all queries on this Call for Papers, the submission process and guidelines, please contact Maria Giulia Pezzi at and Giulia Urso at