Conference March 2024: Leadership & Politics & Governance in Turbulent Times

14. března
15. března


Leadership & Politics & Governance in Turbulent Times:

Global and Geopolitical Challenges in a Changing Europe

Date:  14-15 March 2024 (Thursday and Friday)


Conveners: Prof. Martin Pelucha (Prague University of Economics and Business), Dr. John Gibney (University of Birmingham), Prof. Joyce Liddle and Prof. John Shutt (Northumbria University), Prof. Ignazio Cabras and Prof. Thomas Hoerber (ESSCA EU*Asia Institute), and Prof. Markku Sotarauta (Tampere University).

Venue: Prague University of Economics and Business, W. Churchill Sq. 1938/4, 130 67 Prague 3 – Žižkov, Czech Republic. Lunch, and coffee breaks will be covered by Prague University of Economics and Business.

Contact persons for event: Prof. Martin Pelucha ( and Ms. Martina Kubikova (


Context of the conference

The formation of relations and conditions of development in a transnational, national, regional and local perspective has been and continues to be significantly influenced by a turbulent period of fundamental changes, deeply rooted in global developments and changes in the European geopolitical context. In particular, it has been the unprecedented period of the Covid-19 pandemic, followed by the war in Ukraine and its consequences, which have had an unusually strong impact on everyone’s everyday life. Among the induced effects was the migration crisis, which was most pronounced in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. It was also an energy crisis that affected more or less all European countries, and a coordinated approach in the EU countries helped to overcome the worst scenarios. The energy crisis then had a domino effect on macroeconomic developments, in particular stagflation. And so on and so forth with the various effects on socio-economic development and everyday life.

In these turbulent times, local and regional actors are responding to the above challenges in different ways and to varying degrees. It is clear that the migration crisis was overcome in a matter of weeks in the spring of 2022 thanks to exceptional leadership at all levels of the public and private sectors, with a strong dose of solidarity. The effects of the energy crisis affected all actors and were gradually resolved through a series of good practice examples, including progressive digitalization and the use of SMART solutions. In the current programming period 2021-2027, EU countries have a wide range of different funding streams at their disposal, not only within the mainstream of EU Structural Funds, but also NextGenerationEU and a greater emphasis on financial instruments. This conference will focus on these connections, based on concrete examples and experiences of leadership at local, regional and national levels. The key questions are What examples of good practice in local and regional governance have you seen in the period of the above factors? What has been the experience of leadership in shaping the resilience of localities and regions in turbulent times?

This conference was aimed to bring together an international community of scholars who are interested in developing original perspectives from across city and regional development studies, economic and human/social geography, political science, policy and public administration studies and cross-border studies. By organising and delivering four research conferences/seminars through 2023-2024 (Northumbria University, UK; ESSCA Ecole de Management, France; Prague University of Economics and Business, Czech Republic; and Tampere University, Finland), we were seeking to refresh inter-disciplinary discussion and advance debate around our understandings and explanations of the drivers, dynamics and outcomes of transnational leadership and governance in city and regional development settings.

Conference was held at the Prague University of Economics and Business, Czech Republic. The conference welcomed original papers that address aspects of (either/or) theory and concepts, policy and practice of transnational leadership and governance in achieving more resilient places in Europe. The conference was limited to a maximum of 50 participants.

Preliminary announcement: Seminar/conference 4 will be held in Birmingham on 9-11 October 2024.


Debriefing of the conference

Debriefing z mezinárodní konference k tématu „Leadership & Politics & Governance in Turbulent Times“ – Katedra regionálních studií – Vysoká škola ekonomická v Praze (


The conference was partly supported by Zentiva, a pharmaceutical company based in Prague, which is now a major European company employing more than 4,500 people in several European countries. Among other things, Zentiva played an important role in coordinating health care activities in the Czech Republic during the pandemic. We would like to thank the following for their financial support.

Conference organizing committee:

Martin Pělucha, Martina Kubíková, Vojtěch Dvořák, Eliška Mičová, Jana Kouřilová, Hana Silovská, Vojtěch Kotrba, Adéla Zubíková, Milan Bednář




Conference March 2024: Leadership & Politics & Governance in Turbulent Times