The politics of spatial policy and governance in post-1990 Hungary: The interplay between European and national discourses of space

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Varró, Krisztina
Faragó, László
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There is now a wealth of literature discussing how regional development and spatial planning practices in Central Eastern Europe have been shaped through the alignment with EU policy frameworks. However, scholars have tended to study governance dynamics in terms of adaptation and learning, paying thus little attention to how spatial policy change is inherently interlinked with the political contestation of nation-state spaces. This paper proposes to address this lack by combining insights from political economic work on state spatial restructuring and discourse theory. From this perspective, the institutionalization of spatial policies is examined as a political process in which particular understandings of space become seen legitimate and stabilized depending on how well they fit existing discourses. The paper demonstrates the added value of this approach through a case study of spatial policy change in post-1990 Hungary, and argues that the approach is more generally applicable to examine shifts in spatial policies and to address concerns with the increase in uneven development at different scales.
regionális fejlesztés , regionális politika , területi tervezés , Európai Unió , Kelet-Közép-Európa , Közép-Európa , Magyarország , térelmélet
European Planning Studies 24: (1) pp. 39-60. (2016)