Handbook on the Geographies of Regions and Territories
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Handbook on the Geographies of Regions and Territories

Edited by Anssi Paasi, John Harrison and Martin Jones

This new international Handbook provides the reader with the most up-to-date and original viewpoints on critical debates relating to the rapidly transforming geographies of regions and territories, as well as related key concepts such as place, scale, networks and regionalism. Bringing together renowned specialists who have extensively theorized these spatial concepts and contributed to rich empirical research in disciplines such as geography, sociology, political science and IR studies, this interdisciplinary collection offers fresh, cutting-edge, and contextual insights on the significance of regions and territories in today’s dynamic world.
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Chapter 30: The ‘Europe of the regions’

Julian Clark and Alun Jones

Abstract

The ‘Europe of the Regions’ is a malleable phrase shaped by political-geographical concepts of territory, identity and power. It refers to everyday sub-national processes of identity formation across Europe; attempts to define regions by nation-states and latterly the European Union (EU); and to the hypothetical idea of a European political order based on regions, rather than nation-states. This chapter charts how geographical work on the ‘Europe of the Regions’ changed from conceptualisation as bounded territorial entities within nation-states, to understanding regions as collective sociospatial evolutionary constructions. We show how the rationales and meanings attached to the concept have been subject to shifting power relations between sub-national, national, and supranational scales, and how these relations are conditioned increasingly by neoliberalism. These changing power relations will ensure that the 'Europe of the Regions' persists into the future, albeit in new geohistorical forms.

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