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Agency, structure, institutions, discourse (ASID) in urban and regional development

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>06/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Urban Sciences
Issue number2
Volume20
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)167-187
Publication statusPublished
Early online date20/05/16
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper presents the relations among agency (A), structure (S), institutions (I), and discourse (D) and their analytical relevance for socio-economic development. It argues that an adequate account of these relations must recognize their inherent spatio-temporality and, hence, their space–time dynamics. This is not an optional extra but a definite descriptive and explanatory requirement. Moreover, while structure is recognized as a product of path-dependent institutionalization and path-shaping (collective) agency, agency is seen in turn as discursively and materially reproduced and transformed. This approach treats structure in terms of a differential spatio-temporal configuration of constraints and opportunities, reference to which informs the empirical analysis of strategic agency within the overall agency, structure, institutions, discourse (ASID) heuristic. The paper concludes with an eightfold typology of particular combinations of ASID features to guide analyses of socio-economic development in all its (dis-)junctural complexity.