Defining left behind places: an internationally comparative poset analysis

Flavio Comim, Maria Abreu, Carolina Guinesi Mattos Borges

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review


There is considerable debate in the literature as to the precise definition of 'left-behind' places, and the appropriate metrics for identifying them, and for successfully targeting regional policy interventions. We propose an evaluation structure for 'left-behindness' based on Amartya Sen's capability approach, and argue that the diversity of criteria should not be seen as a shortcoming, but rather as a richness to be explored. We show, through the use of 'posets' and Hasse diagrams, that there are several distinct 'structures of left-behindness' across European NUTS 2 regions, revealing spatial imbalances that do not conform to a 'one size fits all' narrative.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-180
Number of pages18
JournalCambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2024


  • capability approach
  • Hasse diagrams
  • left-behind places
  • LNOB
  • posets
  • regional inequalities


Dive into the research topics of 'Defining left behind places: an internationally comparative poset analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this