One of the research methods I find the most interesting is Institutional Mapping. It’s a funny old thing: frequently used in consultancy but not in academia; as intensely useful as it is deeply subjective; and very poorly codified. It is not something for which you will easily find a ‘how-to’.
Me and my colleagues Jennifer Ferreira, Kevin Broughton and Stewart MacNeill have written a chapter detailing how Institutional Mapping can be applied to study relationships between agents operating across territories. The data for the paper derives from the ESPON ReSSI project. The images above are three examples we use to illustrate our points.
The chapter was published in the most recent ESPON report, titled Building the next generation of research on territorial development, which will inform the next few years of EU cohesion policy. We hope that it will help highlight the importance of institutions in territorial research.
You can download the ESPON report here. Our chapter is found in pages 29-34.