Re-thinking regional and local policies in times of polarisation : An introduction

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Görmar, Franziska
Lang, Thilo
Nagy, Erika
Raagmaa, Garri
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Palgrave Macmillan
Socio-spatial cohesion can be seen as one of the core issues of the European Union. However, the goal is far from being achieved. Diverging economic and social development patterns can be witnessed at various scales. This trend is closely linked to a shift in European cohesion policies in recent decades from redistributive to growth- and competitiveness-oriented policies. The results are parallel processes of centralisation and peripheralisation causing specific patterns of regional polarisation and affecting the ultimate goal to achieve territorial cohesion or, in other words, spatial justice. For this introductory chapter, we have identified three interconnected issues to look at when speaking about issues of socio-spatial polarisation and spatial justice: (1) the role of existing power relations in (re-)producing socio-spatial polarisation, (2) the failure of Cohesion Policy to support more balanced territorial development and, as a counterpoint, (3) the potentials of bottom-up initiatives and place-sensitive approaches to overcome current tendencies of polarisation. To each of these three issues, we directly link related conceptual and empirical contributions. Finally, we conclude with a call to rethink regional policies and find more just answers to current problems of regional development.
regionális politika , helyi politika , polarizáció , területi egyenlőtlenségek , társadalmi egyenlőtlenségek
Lang, Thilo; Görmar, Franziska (szerk.) Regional and Local Development in Times of Polarisation : Re-thinking Spatial Policies in Europe. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019. pp. 1-25. (New geographies of Europe) (ISBN 978-981-13-1189-5)