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Rhiannon Pugh

Title: Researcher, Postdoctoral Researcher School/office: School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences


Phone: +46 19 303000

Room: -

Research Subject

About Rhiannon Pugh

Short Bio

I have a PhD in geography (with a focus on economic geography) from the School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University. I previously studied geography as an undergraduate at the University of Cambridge, and completed a Post-Graduate Certificate in Applied Social Research at Cardiff Metropolitan University. I also hold a Post-Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice from Lancaster University and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, now Advance HE, in the UK. My research interests include: regional economic development; economic geographies of weaker, post-industrial and peripheral regions; the roles of universities in regional development; gender perspectives within economic geography. 

I am currently based in the Human Geography department at Örebro University, working on two research projects. The first, for which I am currently undertaking fieldwork, is studying the evolution of the economic ecosystem of Karlskoga, a town in Sweden with a long history of industrial activities. The second, is a three year project funded by the research agency FORMAS studying innovation policy in the far northern peripheries of Sweden and Scotland. This project aims to explore the barriers and opportunities to enhance sustainable and inclusive economic development through innovation in peripheral areas, and also to enhannce our understanding of such regions within economic geography. 

 I have previously worked at Uppsala University in the Department of Social and Economic Geography where I was a post-doctoral fellow for three years, and before that Lancaster University Management School in the UK where I worked as a research associate on a large local economic development project in 15 cities in England. 

I am mostly conducting research but I also teach on courses in economic geography and human geography. I am available for supervision on topics related to economic geography, and public policy. In addition to my teaching and research duties, I am an early career editor of the journal Regional Studies, Regional Science, of the Regional Studies Association. 

Research Interests

My research examines the governance of regional economic development, and is situated within the sub-disciplines of economic geography, regional studies, and policy studies. I have conducted research in Wales, England, Finland, Brazil, and Sweden, and I focus on qualitative methods such as interviews, observations, policy analysis, and participatory action research. I am especially interested in broadening theoretical and conceptual perspectives within economic geography to better account for the people and places usually overlooked. This materialises in a study of weaker, post-industrial, peripheral, and less-favoured regions, and a theoretical approach drawing on feminist economic geography and critical perspectives. My research has been funded by FORMAS, Handelsbanken and SSAG in Sweden,  and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts in the UK.  


Research Teams



Articles in journals |  Articles, book reviews |  Chapters in books |  Other | 

Articles in journals

Tsvetkova, A. , Pugh, R. & Schmutzler, J. (2019). Beyond global hubs: Broadening the application of systems approaches. Local Economy, 34 (8), 755-766.
Nordling, N. & Pugh, R. (2019). Beyond the 'usual suspects' - Alternative qualitative methods for innovation policy studies. African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development, 11 (4), 513-522.
Raunio, M. , Pugh, R. , Sheikh, F. A. & Egbetokun, A. (2019). INTRODUCTION: Importance of methodological diversity for innovation system studies. African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development, 11 (4), 465-467.
Pugh, R. , MacKenzie, N. G. & Jones-Evans, D. (2018). From ‘Techniums’ to ‘emptiums’: the failure of a flagship innovation policy in Wales. Regional studies, 52 (7), 1009-1020.
Pugh, R. & Chiarini, T. (2018). Innovation studies: a North–South global perspective. Innovation and Development, 8 (2), 227-248.
Pugh, R. , Lamine, W. , Jack, S. & Hamilton, E. (2018). The entrepreneurial university and the region: what role for entrepreneurship departments?. European Planning Studies, 26 (9), 1835-1855.
Pugh, R. (2018). Who Speaks for Economic Geography?. Environment and planning A, 50 (7), 1525-1531.
Cai, Y. , Pugh, R. & Liu, C. (2017). A framework for analysing the role of innovation policy in regional innovation system development. International Journal of Innovation and Regional Development, 7 (4), 237-256.
Pugh, R. , Hamilton, E. , Jack, S. & Gibbons, A. (2016). A step into the unknown: universities and the governance of regional economic development. European Planning Studies, 24 (7), 1357-1373.

Articles, book reviews

Zetterlund, H. , Pugh, R. , Mathisen, T. , Larsson, L. & Hinchcliffe, G. (). Living a Feminist Life by Sara Ahmed. Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography.

Chapters in books

Huggins, R. & Pugh, R. (2015). Regional Competitiveness and Schumpeterian Development: Policy Evolution in Wales. In: Jesús M. Valdaliso and James R. Wilson, Strategies for shaping territorial competitiveness (pp. 131-154). . Routledge.