Special Sessions at RSAI-BIS 2023 SS1: Political discontent and left behind people and places
The uneven impacts of global megatrends – technological changes, such as digitalisation and automation, demographic changes, like urbanisation, ageing and migration, and climate change, further exacerbated by the recent shocks to gas and energy supply – are threatening and increasing inequalities across regions and people in many advanced economies (OECD, 2022). Consequently, the most negatively affected regions (such as those characterized by long term economic decline, or with high unemployment rate) and the most impacted socio-demographic categories (for instance based on education, age, or gender) are increasingly experiencing a feeling of being “left behind” (Rodríguez-Pose, 2018) and express this growing public discontent with the political, economic and social status quo through their political rights at the ballot box (such as during the UK Brexit vote and the US presidential election in 2016, the French presidential election in 2017, or the 2022 Italian general election, among others). This led to the acknowledgment of a geography of discontent (Los et al., 2017; McCann, 2018; 2020) and highlights the importance of developing policies suitable to address the challenges faced by these left-behind places and people (Abreu and Öner, 2020; Crescenzi et al., 2020; Kenny and Luca, 2021; Koeppen et al., 2021; MacKinnon et al., 2022; Mantegazzi, 2021; Martin et al., 2022).
The special session calls for contributions shedding further light on the topic and addressing, on the one hand, the specific drivers behind these left behind people and places, and, on the other hand, the challenges and opportunities related to suitable policies focusing on them or those at risk of becoming left behind.