Summary and Info
Regions have always been powerful spatial metaphors and political concepts. However, it is within the context of more recent paradigm shifts that 'regions' have acquired the intense economic, political and social salience they now enjoy.Bringing together comparative case studies from Central Europe and South America, the book focuses on 'new' regions; regions created as political projects of modernisation and 're-scaling'. In doing so, it de-codes 'New Regionalism' in terms of its contributions to institutional change, but also of its contestedness and contradictions. It questions whether these regions are merely a strategy of neo-liberal adjustment to changing political and economic condition, or whether they are indicative of true reform, of greater citizen participation and of empowerment. It assesses whether these regions are really representing something new or whether they are a reconfiguration of traditional power relationships. It provides a timely critical analysis of 'region-building' and the extent to which national processes of decentralisation and subnational processes of regionalism can enhance the effectiveness and responsiveness of governance.