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A tale of sky and desert: Translation and imaginaries in transnational windows of institutional opportunity

Maximilian Benner

PEGIS from Institute for Economic Geography and GIScience, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business

Abstract: Institutional change in regional economies is affected by macro-level developments such as alignment with the EU and its markets. Countries in Europe’s Eastern and Southern neighborhood provide a case for gradual economic integration into the EU’s economic space. Processes of alignment and mutual market liberalization shape the macro-level conditions for regional development in neighborhood countries but do so in variegated ways as they are translated into the regional institutional context. Building on literature on institutional entrepreneurship, cultural political economy, and actor-network theory, this article argues that EU alignment opens a transnational window of institutional opportunity for agents to shape regional development through translation. In this often contested translation process, institutional entrepreneurs draw on imaginaries, narratives, and visions and shape them. The paper argues that imaginaries are a useful analytical device to understand the interaction between agency and structure in institutional change. The empirical case of tourism in Israel's Southern Negev illustrates the impact of the country's integration into the EU's external aviation policy at the regional tourism sector as well as the strategies of institutional entrepreneurs to use this transnational window of institutional opportunity to promote diverse patterns of institutional change based on multiple imaginaries.

Keywords: institutional change; institutional entrepreneurship; imaginaries; European neighborhood; EU alignment; Israel; tourism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 37 pages
Date: 2021
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ent, nep-tra and nep-ure
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