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Regional Infrastructure Systems

The Political Economy of Regional Infrastructure

Colin Turner

As the international economy globalises, there is a need for national infrastructure systems to adapt to form a global infrastructure system. This network of networks aids mobility between national systems as a means of supporting their territorial needs and preferences. This reflects a strategic approach to state infrastructuring as nations seek to utilise these physical systems to support and enhance their territoriality. Providing a thorough examination through the lens of economic infrastructure, the book addresses the forces of integration and fragmentation in global networks.
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Chapter 2: The European infrastructure system

Colin Turner


Europe is the continent where regionalism has the longest precedent in the form of the European Union (EU). However, only relatively recently has this integrationist agenda turned to the development of regional infrastructure systems. Framed within the context provided by formal European integration, this chapter argues that the main policy strategy for the development of the European infrastructure system – the trans-European networks initiative – is indicative of the EU’s aspirational territoriality. As such, despite the rhetoric and grand ambitions, the initiative has not amounted to much, with the main drivers of the process being through informal integration via bilateral and multilateral agreement between states.

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