Re-reading the new regionalism - a sympathetic critique

2009-03-27T13:27:29Z (GMT) by John Harrison
This paper provides a sympathetic critique of the new regionalism – currently one of the leading debates taking place in English speaking human geography. By unpacking the new regionalism from its dual origins in economic geography and political science, I engage with some of its inherent lines of weakness by: (i) developing a critique arguing that it is inappropriate on the part of the new regionalism to neglect the role of the state in the resurgence of regions in the reconstituted capitalist space economy; (ii) exploring the accusation that the new regionalism has become enmeshed in multifaceted scalar politics and associated tangled policy hierarchies; and, (iii) arguing that through policy-transfer programmes, path-dependency, social capital, and soft institutionalism, the new regionalism has been constructed on inadequate foundations. Finally, in developing this sympathetic theoretical and methodological critique towards the new regionalism, this paper speculates how new regionalists should actually go about ‘doing’ regional regulation.