Who We Are
The Romanian Regional Science Association (RRSA) was set up in 2001 as a result of the initiative of Professor Daniela L. Constantin, supported by a group of colleagues, mainly from the Academy of Economic Studies of Bucharest (after previous constant participations in ERSA congresses since 1994). Since 2002 it has become one of the national sections of the ERSA, the ERSA Council approving Romania’s application on the occasion of the ERSA Congress in Dortmund.
At present the association counts more than 80 dedicated members (economists, sociologists, geographers, architects, engineers, mathematicians), with a mature and deep interest in regional science as well as in the association’s activities. Many of them come from universities and research institutes but individuals from ministries, regional development agencies, NGOs, consultancy firms, etc. are also active members of the RRSA. The association has constantly expanded its geographical coverage, so that it displays a well-balanced regional distribution: all eight Romanian development regions and all big cities, with important university and research centres are represented in the RRSA. All members of the RRSA are individual members of ERSA and RSAI.
The members of the RRSA have a rich scientific activity materialised in a big number of research projects, books, articles, papers presented at national and international meetings. The association itself has published impressive volumes of proceedings of its conferences while the host universities dedicated special issues of their journals to the papers presented at these conferences. Following an initiative launched at a round table at the end of 2006, the RRSA has prepared a database with contact information about its members, grouped in accordance with their specific fields of scientific interest, in order to facilitate their participation in national and international projects.
The RRSA has an excellent co-operation with the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration, with Regional Development Agencies and other institutions interested in a productive dialogue with the Romanian Regional Science Association.
One of the most important accomplishments of the RRSA is the Romanian Journal of Regional Science, which was launched in December 2007. The journal is indexed in RePEc-IDEAS, EconPapers, EBSCO, Cabell’s and ERIH+ databases and has attracted a lot of interest and support from the international regional science community.
Between 2001 and 2005 the RRSA organised an international conference every year. Since 2005 this conference has been organised every two years, in parallel with the increase in diversification of the association’s activities (round tables, workshops, seminars). The first three conferences were held in Bucharest, at the Bucharest University of Economic Studies. Then, universities from other cities such as Galati (South-East Region), Timisoara (West Region), Alba Iulia (Centre Region), Baia Mare (North-West Region), Cluj-Napoca (North-West Region), Suceava and Iasi (North-East Region), Piteşti (South-Muntenia Region) have been also great organisers. All conferences have proved the scientific, institutional and geographical diversity of the association as well as an important interest of foreign participants.
Outstanding scholars of the international regional science community have warmly supported these conferences with keynote speeches and messages. Among them are Roger Stough, Geoffrey Hewings and Charles Leven (U.S.A.), Peter Nijkamp, Jouke van Dijk and Karima Kourtit (the Netherlands), Roberta Capello (Italy), Manfred M. Fischer (Austria), Paul Cheshire and Andres Rodriguez-Pose (U.K.), Antoine Bailly and Angelo Rossi (Switzerland), Rolf Funck and Jan Kowalski (Germany), Yoshiro Higano, Takeo Ihara and Harunori Shishido (Japan), André Torre, Jean-Marie Huriot and Lise Bourdeau-Lepage (France), Ewa Bojar and Maciej Turala (Poland), Gyula Horvath (Hungary), Tomaz Ponce-Dentinho (Portugal).
The members of the RRSA are also active participants in the ERSA congresses, their number substantially growing after Romania’s accession to the European Union. Participations in the world congresses of the RSAI, in the ERSA and RSAI summer and winter schools, in conferences organised by national sections can be mentioned as well.
On May 9-12, 2012 the 9th World Congress of the RSAI – “Changing Spatial Patterns in a Globalising World” – took place at Timisoara, the charming city located in the West Region of Romania. It was jointly organized by the Regional Science Association International, the Romanian Regional Science Association and the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of the West University of Timisoara, with the large support of local authorities.
In May 2016 the RRSA organised in partnership with the Bucharest University of Economic Studies the PhD Student Workshop with the support of the RSAI via the “Nurturing New Tallent” programme. Almost all 18 participants have subsequently completed their PhD studies with excellent theses.
In May 2021 the RRSA contributed two special sessions relevant for Romanian Regional Science to the World Congress of the RSAI and had a large participation in this congress (ranking the second in Europe – ex equo with Spain in terms of number of participants, after Italy).
The latest international conference of the RRSA took place in November 2021 and was organised online – virtually hosted by the Bucharest University of Economic Studies – as a consequence of the uncertainties generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was organised in cooperation with the national sections from the South-East Europe (Bulgarian, Croatian, Greek, Turkish), responding to the ERSA and RSAI objectives of increasing the cooperation and networking between the national sections. On this occasion the Romanian RSA also celebrated its 20th anniversary.