SS28: Narratives, news, and the power of sentiments

Name and affiliations of the session organisers

  • Tom Broekel (University of Stavanger)
  • Burcu Ozgun (University of Kassel)


Narratives and stories have always played a crucial role in shaping human understanding and perception of the world around them. In recent times, there has been an increasing interest in exploring the role of narratives and stories in regional economic development. Narratives and stories are especially powerful tools that can shape economic policy, business strategies, and public perception of regional transformation and innovation processes.  

This session invites studies exploring the relationship between regional techno-economic developments and their presentation in narratives, news, and public discourses. Building on the literature streams of narrative economics, geographical discourse studies, and media sentiment studies, this session seeks to understand the power of stories (topics, wording, type of presentation) for economic developments with a focus on new technologies and transformation processes.

We are particularly looking forward to empirical studies employing quantitative approaches and tools of modern text analysis such as topic modeling, language models, sentiment, and emotion analyses. Mixed methods approaches are equally welcome. 

We welcome submissions that investigate the role of narratives and stories in the following areas: 

  • How do regions differ regarding narratives, stories, and discourses concerning innovation, technologies, and transformation? 
  • How do narratives and stories shape economic and technology policy development at the regional level?  
  • What are the key narratives and stories that policymakers related to regional innovation and economic transformations? 
  • How are innovation and transformation processes presented in the news and public discourse? 
  • Can the framing of topics and narratives shape regional development outcomes? 
  • Who are the core agents creating and shaping narratives about technologies, innovation, and transformation processes? 
  • How significant are spatial narrative creation and diffusion processes and what are their determinants? 

We look forward to receiving your contributions and to engaging in a fruitful discussion on the importance of narratives and stories for regional economic development. 


The Manchester Institute of Innovation Research


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The University of Manchester Hallsworth Conference Fund           The Regional Studies Association           The Productivity Institute