Not available in 2022/23
GY415      Half Unit
Local Capacity and Economic Development Policy

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Simona Iammarino STC S410


This course is available on the MSc in Geographic Data Science, MSc in Local Economic Development, MSc in Regional And Urban Planning Studies and MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po). This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

This course is aimed at understanding the micro foundations of local economic development, that is the determinants and effects of the behaviour, strategies and choices of key economic actors: local firms, both small and large, multinational enterprises, universities and other education and research organisations, government bodies, NGOs, and local communities. The study of different theoretical approaches, empirical evidence and implications of the behaviour of such actors, and their interactions and linkages, will help building up the analytical framework to interpret the genesis of localised economic systems, their dynamics and evolution over time and the policy options available, particularly, but not exclusively, from a bottom-up perspective. We will make use of an extended array of empirical examples and case studies across regions and industries, both in advanced and emerging economies, and consider the transferability of lessons and insights over space and time. The course is particularly concerned with place-sensitive approaches and locally initiated and managed processes which may involve a wide range of actors in shaping and implementing local economic development initiatives.



In the Department of Geography and Environment, teaching will be delivered through a combination of classes/seminars, pre-recorded lectures, live online lectures and other supplementary interactive live activities.


This course is delivered through a combination of workshops and lectures across Michaelmas Term.


This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Michaelmas Term.

Formative coursework

Policy Brief outline to be submitted by week 5 and group presentations on case studies in different weeks of MT: written feedback will be provided on all formative coursework in order to help prepare for the assessed Policy Brief.

Indicative reading

The course is mainly based on academic articles and papers, all available through @reading list. Some chapters will also be used from books such as: A. Pike, A. Rodriguez-Pose & J. Tomaney, Local and Regional Development, 2006; B-A. Lundvall, KJ Joseph, C. Chaminade & J. Vang (eds.), Handbook of Innovation Systems and Developing Countries, 2009; J Cantwell & E Amann (eds.), Innovative Firms in Emerging Market Countries, 2012; S Iammarino & P McCann Multinationals and Economic Geography. Location, Technology and Innovation, 2013.

In general, all readings are electronically available from the LSE Library unless otherwise indicated.


Policy brief (100%) in the MT.

A 2,500 word Policy Brief is due in the week after the end of MT.

Student performance results

(2018/19 - 2020/21 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 22.1
Merit 59.3
Pass 15.7
Fail 2.9

Key facts

Department: Geography and Environment

Total students 2021/22: 43

Average class size 2021/22: 15

Controlled access 2021/22: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills