Cross border regions and territorial restructuring in Central Europe

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Corey Johnson, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: As the world's `first postmodern political form', Europe provides an excellent laboratory for exploring how border regions offer new spaces of/for governance, cultural interaction, and economic development. With the backdrop of dynamic transboundary regionalization in Europe, this article has two goals: the first is to provide a critical review of some recent literature on territorial restructuring whose spatial ambit curiously omits transboundary space. Second, the article follows in the tradition of recent literature on regionalism in geography by exploring competing visions of the scales which are appropriate for organizing particular political and economic activities, in order to call for more engagement with transboundary regionalism.A case-study from Saxony (Germany) shows that the functional utilitarianism — and resulting short half life — of some European transboundary regions is a factor inhibiting the emergence of coherent regions. This notwithstanding, evidence also suggests that cross-border cooperation is becoming a key tool as localities and other territories strive to become `global'. The tangled map of current regional initiatives within the European Union (EU) reflects the temporal emergence and disappearance of cross-border regions in response to changing political priorities and shifting macro-institutional funding sources. The article shows that transboundary regions play an important role in territorial restructuring in Central Europe, but not necessarily in the way EU regional policy intends.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2009
Eastern Europe, European Union Germany, political geography, transboundary regionalism, geography

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