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Regional Science

  • By: Kingsley E. Haynes & Haifeng Qian
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Regional science is among the youngest of the social sciences. This introduction to regional science covers its definition, history, topics, and methods.

Definition

According to its founding father, Walter Isard, regional science uses diverse combinations of analytical and empirical research to study social problems with regional or spatial dimensions. While major concerns of many social disciplines involve regional or spatial dimensions, regional science exhibits a multidisciplinary aspect in both its research topics and its research methods. Accordingly, scholars in regional science, called “regional scientists,” may be educated in the disciplines of regional science, economics, demography, political science, sociology, geography, civil engineering, urban planning, law, and public policy, among others. Due to this multidisciplinary feature, regional scientists have experienced difficulties in delivering a widely accepted definition of regional ...

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