Jiri Blazek

Jiri Blazek
Charles University in Prague | CUNI · Department of Social Geography and Regional Development

Prof., RNDr., Ph.D.

About

71
Publications
11,952
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Introduction
Professor Jiri Blazek is Head of the Department of Social Geography and Regional Development, Charles University in Prague. Jiri deals with formation of regional innovation systems in less developed European countries and with a recent evolutionary dynamics of the global production networks. Jiri is engaged in close cooperation with various intermediaries supporting regional development.

Publications

Publications (71)
Article
Full-text available
This article examines various upgrading and downgrading repositioning firm strategies within global value chains (GVCs) or global production networks (GPNs). It builds upon recent evidence that the mode of governance could vary profoundly among firms engaged in the same GVC/GPN. Therefore, the relevance of particular types of upgrading that were or...
Article
The analysis of entrance and exit dynamics of suppliers into and from GVCs/GPNs has remained on a sideline, despite emerging evidence of the substantial dynamics of suppliers exiting value chains, induced for example by a paradigm of streamlining the supply base. Thus, this article aims to contribute to research on global production via the identif...
Article
This paper aims to unravel the impacts of the global economic crisis upon European banking centres on the basis of the evolution of key economic indicators, such as total assets, profitability and the level of risk to the banking sector over the 2004–2015 period. Counterintuitively, the European leading banking centres (London, Paris and Frankfurt)...
Article
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Over the past few years, scholarly debates on new path development have attracted increasing attention within the economic geography literature. This work distinguishes various trajectories of regional and industrial evolution. So far, these evolutionary trajectories have been mainly conceptualized as 'positive' forms of path development. However,...
Article
This paper investigates the role of agency in regional industrial path development using an integrated framework that combines three recent conceptualizations of agency: (1) firm- and system-level agency; (2) trinity-of-change agency; and (3) reproductive and change agency. Our framework redefines firm- and system-level agency into organizationalan...
Article
This paper investigates a widespread assumption in the upgrading literature that lead firms and higher‐tier suppliers perform better and capture a larger value than lower‐tier suppliers. In contrast to other studies, this analysis is based on a detailed examination of a cross‐sectoral sample of 251 companies (including companies outside production...
Article
This paper explores effect of proximities on R&D collaboration and focus on a prime mechanism of intentional search for knowledge—joint R&D projects—using data on R&D projects co‐financed by various public sector bodies in the period 2003–2018. Our findings show that R&D collaboration based on cognitive proximity is intentional and firms prefer par...
Article
This paper contributes to the recent debate between two important streams within current economic geography and regional studies: global value chains/global production networks theories, and regional innovation system theory. Based on the review of key literature, the authors first identify the key conceptual differences between these two streams a...
Article
This article aims to address two research questions. First, what is the relationship between the basic characteristics of companies engaged in global and regional production networks (such as their tier, ownership, size) and their economic performance. In doing so, we scrutinize the empirical basis for frequent calls to ‘climb the ladder’. Second,...
Article
Full-text available
There is increasing pressure on academics to show the impact of their research. At the same time, policy-makers are expected to draw upon a wide base of evidence, including academic research, to develop innovative solutions to often intractable societal problems. Despite these complementary objectives of impact and use of evidence, the relationship...
Article
This paper investigates the effectiveness of industrial policy, and the role of state capacity to implement it, by making a comparison of automotive development in Thailand and Czechia, the largest vehicle producers in Southeast Asia and Central and Eastern Europe, respectively. The development of the industry in both countries primarily relied on...
Article
The current phase of intensive globalisation, digitisation, the expansion of fintech companies and the overall impacts of the recent crisis seem to spur further concentration in the banking sector in terms of both the number of banks in operation and the number of banking centres. This research is motivated by the fact that, in contrast to leading...
Article
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This study examines the level of application of Japanese-style management to the Czech Republic from the perspective of hybridization, by employing a survey of Japanese manufacturing firms based in this country. The survey reveals that the Japanese system of production control is strictly enforced, while work organization, labour relations and grou...
Article
This paper aims at an understanding of acquisition processes in a strongly industrialized and export‐oriented economy in Central Europe. Drawing on a proximity framework and behaviour theory, the paper investigates that the geographical proximity dimension is more influential than the cognitive proximity dimension. At the same time, cognitive proxi...
Article
Full-text available
This study presents an analysis and visualisation of the evolutionary dynamics of unemployment at the municipal level in Czechia during the global economic crisis. The analysis is based on a monthly time series of unemployment data at a detailed territorial level. Namely, there are 6,258 municipalities in Czechia, which makes it particularly suitab...
Chapter
The ultimate aim of RIS3 is to enhance the innovative capacity of the European economy by promoting higher added value activities and focusing resources on a region’s comparative advantages. This should be achieved first of all by fostering a new policy process, the entrepreneurial discovery process, in which entrepreneurs and their partners in gov...
Article
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This paper aims at the comprehension of feasible development trajectories conceptualized within the new path-development model in the case of two less developed regions in Central Europe (CE). The main new element of this paper comprises the examination of the perception of key barriers and mechanisms hindering particular evolutionary trajectories...
Article
Full-text available
Due to numerous idiosyncratic features, a profound variety in the level of development and in the nature of regional innovation systems is often acknowledged. This paper has aimed to contribute to existing research by unraveling mutual relationships among knowledge bases, R&D structure and innovation performance of European regions. Our analysis sh...
Chapter
Globalization has strongly affected the prospects of local and regional development over the past thirty years. Economic development across countries is changing dynamically, thus countries and regions which were at the top of the table thirty and odd years ago have lost their leading role (e.g. Piedmont and Tuscany in Italy, the Midlands in Englan...
Article
Universities and other knowledge institutions have quickly come to be seen as central to smart specialisation. However, their exact role in Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation has yet to receive much critical attention in the academic literature. This is particularly notable as defining features of smart specialisation – suc...
Article
This article considers key barriers to the process of innovation, as identified in a survey of firms and research institutions in the Czech region of South Moravia, which has been trying for more than a decade to spur innovation via successive regional innovation strategies. The article makes particular reference to the nature of newly emerging reg...
Article
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This article identifies the main drivers in the evolution of the banking cluster in Prague over the last two centuries. Conceptually, it employs the adaptive-cycle model of cluster evolution, which acknowledges the role of external factors in cluster evolution. An empirical analysis shows that the evolution of the banking cluster in Prague has been...
Article
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ABSTRACT The research on the economic convergence of Central and Eastern European countries towards the old EU members is voluminous, and it has an obvious appeal to both policy-makers and public. Unlike the traditional literature concerned with selected macro-patterns of the European convergence process, this paper presents a comparative study of...
Article
ABSTRACT Contemporary innovation processes increasingly involve a large number of networked actors, and cross-fertilization between knowledge institutions and firms has thus become a significant driver for innovation. Important insights into the differing nature of research and development (R&D) collaboration in particular sectors have been provide...
Article
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This article compares the nature of academia-business collaboration in the two most innovative Czech regions, where the respective regional decision-makers and universities’ representatives differ sharply in their approaches towards the commercialization of academic knowledge. An analysis of the nature of collaboration between life-science research...
Article
The article seeks to contribute to the relatively neglected, yet recently expanding, body of financial geography literature. It examines the propositions of the theory of regional segmentation of financial markets, which e within a centralized financial system e foresees credit rationing for small businesses located in peripheral regions. The resea...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report investigates ways and means to operationalize the S3 concept into a strategic Policy process. It makes the link between, on the one hand, research carried out in other parts of the SMARTSPEC project, focusing on the key components of the S3 concept, and, on the other hand, the Policy dimension of S3. Hence, it aims to investigate policy...
Article
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The paper seeks to develop a comparative analysis of approaches to innovation support in three self-governing regions of the Czech Republic. Its analytical section presents an in-depth analysis of the development of innovation policies in three regions: the capital city of Prague, South Moravia and the old industrial region of Moravia-Silesia. Key...
Article
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The aim of this article is to contribute to the existing body of literature on regional development in two main spheres. First, due to limited availability of data, most of existing studies dealt with regional development trends only upon regional level. However, regions can hide important intra-regional differences. Therefore, the first aim of thi...
Article
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in contrast to the swiftly expanding set of studies devoted to the knowledge sources for high-tech industries in highly developed regions, the aim of this paper is to provide insights into the geography of knowledge sources of low-tech industry in the european semi-periphery. Czech outdoor equipment producing firms are primarily sMes, often based...
Article
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The article analyses changes in the regional variability of unemployment rates resulting from the global crisis, at the NUTS 3 and LAU 1 levels in the new member states of the European Union in Central and Eastern Europe. Although the coefficient of variation, the Gini coefficient and the Theil index each show a clear tendency towards convergence,...
Article
Full-text available
In contrast to the swiftly expanding set of studies devoted to the knowledge sources for high-tech industries in highly developed regions, the aim of this paper is to provide insights into the geography of knowledge sources of low-tech industry in the European semi-periphery. Czech outdoor equipment producing firms are primarily SMEs, often based o...
Article
BLAZEK, J. (2012): Regional Innovation Systems and Global Production Networks: Two Views on the Source of Competitiveness in the Present-Day World? Geografie, 117, No. 2, pp. 209-233.-The aim of this article is three-fold. First, to discuss differences between the two major conceptualisations which are driving contemporary regional research in Euro...
Article
Full-text available
The primary aim of this paper is to contribute to current discussion, concerning the role of geography of knowledge sources in knowledge-intensive industries from the perspective of a post-communist country (the Czech Republic), with its specific cultural and historical heritage, as well as its specific institutional and policy context. This partic...
Article
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Clusters: Fashionable Term or a Real Source of Competitiveness? Jiri BLAZEK, Iva KUNCOVA This article seeks to contribute to current debate on the role of clusters in the competitiveness of member firms, by investigating the actual contribution of recently established clusters and by analyzing the intensity and nature of the links within two clust...
Article
This article seeks to contribute to current debate on the role of clusters in the competitiveness of member firms, by investigating the actual contribution of recently established clusters and by analyzing the intensity and nature of the links within two clusters, in the Czech Republic. The analysis is based on data, acquired through qualitative re...
Article
Previous research on regional innovation systems (RISs) has shown that Prague is a prime example of a fragmented metropolitan RIS. Fragmented innovation systems are characterized by a strong endowment of knowledge and innovation infrastructure elements, but they suffer from a lack of local networking, cooperation, and knowledge transmission. The ai...
Article
Full-text available
Blažek J. and Macešková M. Regional analysis of public capital expenditure: to which regions is public capital expenditure channelled – to ‘rich’ or to ‘poor’ ones?, Regional Studies. The paper aims to contribute to the debate on the regional dimension of sectoral (that is, non-regional) policies and to demonstrate empirically the huge discrepancy...
Article
The aim of this article is twofold. First, to discuss some of the key challenges for the future design of EU Cohesion Policy and to propose several possible options for enhancing the effectiveness of this policy, in particular, how to streamline the delivery system of cohesion policy in the future. Nevertheless, the argument that a large portion of...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract: The evaluation of the actors in regional development is only one component/level within the regional research. However, it is a level which increases its significance and has or could have the key role in the sphere of regional development and at the same time reflects the problems on other levels. It is in fact the proportionality and b...
Article
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Th e aim of this article is to present a proposal for a new EU Cohesion policy design for the next programming period (i.e. 2014-2020). Th e proposal presented is in line with a debate proceeding on a European level on the following key conceptual dilemmas of this policy: 1) relation of EU cohesion policy and Lisbon strategy, 2) relation of EU cohe...
Article
This paper is part of the Special Issue of European Environment devoted to the outputs of the EU SRDTOOLS project, which has developed and applied a new model of regional sustainable development evaluation. The paper demonstrates how the SRDTOOLS methodology has been practically applied for the case of Prague, and the constraints to application of...
Article
Abstract The article aims at developing a conceptual scheme of factors, mechanisms and processes of regional development. Firstly, possible approaches towards classification of factors, mechanisms and processes are presented. Then, methodology of critical realism is employed in order to outline systemic relations among regional development facto...
Article
The aim of the paper is to provide an overview of the development of Czech innovation policy which started to get its shape in the first years of the 21st century. The article traces its origins to a number of interlinked factors - the introduction of European regional policy in the Czech Republic, the increased inflow of foreign direct investment...
Article
The paper gives a critical analysis of evaluation culture in one of the new Member States of the European Union: The Czech Republic. It examines the experience of drafting the first generation of programming documents for the EU Cohesion policy and of ex-ante evaluation, focusing on the National Development Plan (NDP), which is the basic strategic...
Article
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This paper empirically examines the role of West-East gradient (i.e. position of the regions of the Czech Republic in the European system) for regional development. The research is focused on the case of the Czech Republic. Despite problems with consistency of the data, the authors made an attempt to establish long-term time series of at least basi...
Article
The paper deals with the problems of setting up a system of local government financing in the Czech Republic. It starts with discussion of reasons for a decade of unsuccessful efforts in reforming local finances, then development of the system of local finances is elaborated, but core of the paper is devoted to analysis of current system of municip...
Article
Municipal budgets in Poland and the Czech Republic are compared in the context of the institutional settings adopted for local government in each country. Wildavsky's model of budgetary behaviour for 'poor and uncertain' budget makers is applied to explain the financial decisions of local authorities in the circumstances of postcommunist transition...
Article
The article aims to identify the development phases in the process of the regional differentiation in the Czech Republic after 1989, and examines whether this differentiation trend is currently changing. The assumption the article's hypothesis is based on is that during recent development the basic 'parameters' of the principal features of the coun...

Projects

Projects (4)
Project
The project will provide detailed analysis of the role of extra-regional sources in regional industrial change and economic growth in different types of region in Czechia. Thus, the project will investigate the following research questions. RQ1: What are the intensity and spatial patterns of collaborative and contract research networks in terms of orientation towards extra-regional knowledge partners? RQ2: What are the intensity and spatial patterns of exogenous sources (in terms of corporate takeovers and foreign direct investments) in different types of regions? RQ3: How and in what ways do extra-regional sources (mentioned in RQ1 and RQ2) influence the probability of developing a specific type of path in different kinds of regions? (i.e. path upgrading, path diversification, path importation and path creation). RQ4: What are the positive and negative effects (e.g. on regional performance, unemployment etc.) of inflow of extra-regional assets and knowledge (e.g. via corporate takeovers) on regional industrial path development in different types of region? RQ5: How actors in different Czech regions mobilize knowledge from the outside and why do regions differ in their capacity to trigger new paths?
Archived project
Since 2017, the RSA has supported a Policy Expo programme that supports researchers to undertake a project addressing a question of policy concern. The program focuses on issues at the forefront of new policy thinking or considers fresh perspectives on longstanding issues. There are two key outputs of the Policy Expo. The first is a contribution to the RSA Policy Impact book series. This series seeks to advance a shared understanding of current policy issues in a way that is accessible to academics, practitioners and policy-makers. The second is an article published in the RSA journal, Regional Studies, Regional Science.
Project
The project aims at comprehension of the types of engagement of firms operating in Czechia into global production networks first according to the quality of particular regional innovation system and secondly, according to (non)existence of own R&D of particular companies.