Journal of Regional Policy and Analysis
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Editorial Philosophy

Walter Isard defined regional science as the study of those social, economic, political, and behavioral phenomena that have a spatial dimension. Regional science was viewed not as an interdisciplinary activity, but rather as a new, unified discipline. With the recent passing of the 40th anniversary of the "birth" of regional science, many regional scientists, upon reflection, question whether Isard's lofty goal of a new discipline has been achieved. There are no academic departments of regional science and those that view themselves as regional scientists find themselves very much at home in departments of economics, sociology, political science and geography. Today, the majority of regional scientists would concur with the position of Miernyk who argues that regional science is more focused on relevant issues and public policy from a multidisciplinary perspective. The leading journals in regional science tend to be dominated with empirical analysis addressing real world phenomena. Because of the tendency for regional scientists to be focused on trying to better understand current issues from a regional or local perspective they find themselves in great demand by local, state and national policy-makers. While some have expressed concern that some of the parent disciplines are becoming increasingly irrelevant, regional scientists tend to remain firmly planted in the real world and draw on the various disciplinary perspectives to better understand those social, economic, political, and behavioral phenomena that have a spatial dimension.

The profile of the membership and the meetings of the Mid-continent Regional Science Association (the parent organization of JRAP) tend to reflect the applied, focused nature of regional science. The mid 1990s decision to change the title of the Association's professional journal from Regional Science Perspectives to The Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy underscores the need to retain the relevance of the Journal to real world issues and policies to affect change at the regional and/or local level. As editors of JRAP we will strive to retain the tradition of seeking out and publishing quality basic and applied research with a focus on the advancement of the multidisciplinary perspective of regional science.

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