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 ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY

 
Department of Economic Geography at the Warsaw School of Economics was founded at the time of establishing departments as basic school units for teaching and research. Its educational activity was due to the fact that since the beginning of functioning of the School operating since 1906 as Private Courses of Commerce economic geography was taught as a discipline. Lectures on economic geography were conducted continuously throughout the period of the school’s existence. They are addressed to all students.
 
Department of Economic Geography has always been an important educational and research center in Poland. This was possible thanks to the outstanding scholars and academic leaders who guided this Department. The heads of Department were as follows: Antoni Sujkowski, Jerzy Loth, Mieczysław Fleszar, Stanisław Berezowski and Irena Fierla. For some period of time in the Department of Economic Geography were two separate units concentrating their efforts on national and international studies. Currently the Department does not have the unit structure.
 
The purpose of the Department of Economic Geography is to teach economic geography generally as well as sectoral geography and spatial economy with particular emphasis on location of economic entities. The Department conducts also the research within micro and macro geographical perspective. The research activities are concentrating on the analysis of the location of companies, regional development and spatial organization of the economy.
 
Economic Geography as a sub discipline of geographical sciences is also gaining ground  as an important area of research conducted by representatives of other sciences, especially economic sciences. Although contemporary studies are still dedicated to traditional areas such as urban systems and their structure and hierarchy, the optimal location of economic activity and its spatial structure, the main focus is more and more addressed to emerging research problems associated with globalization, regional and local development, innovation, restructuring of spatial economic systems and spatial aspects of management. This evolving area of research is  strongly influenced by the theory of international trade and therefore the issues related to the benefits of agglomeration, the dynamics of income and imperfect competition are increasing in importance.
 
Contemporary research undertaken by economic geographers and specifically in the field of so called new economic geography is focused on the following issues:
  • global economic integration (migration of industry and capital, international flows of goods, services and factors of production, conditions of economic growth of national and regional economies);
  • spatial structure of business entities and their location (location, restructuring, competitiveness, spatial network structures, clusters, local and regional development, glocalization, territorial marketing);
  • geography of knowledge and innovation (innovation and knowledge as factors of development of national and regional economy, spatial innovation systems, conditions for the development of the knowledge economy);
  • human and social capital in the spatial processes of growth (labor markets as spatial category, the ways of the usage of human factor in the economy, social and cultural determinants of economic development of countries and regions, political and institutional determinants of economic development of countries and regions);
  • global transformation of the economy (sustainable development, barriers to economic growth, international regional integration, global perspective of local and regional development, global implications of regional and local development, marketing of nations).

Current fields of research of academic staff of  the Department of Economic Geography are fully compatible with the modern research directions of economic geography as a science.

They are related  to:

  • studies devoted to European integration and its impact for Polish economy;
  • foreign direct investments and the characteristics of their location;
  • location of economic entities;
  • external (global and European) conditions of urban development;
  • regional and local development;
  • restructuring of industrial agglomerations;
  • knowledge and innovation as a driver of regional development;
  • spatial determinants of interpersonal communication.

Author: Kazimierz Kuciński