Configuring the new 'regional world': on being caught between territory and networks
journal contributionposted on 10.11.2011, 11:14 by John Harrison
Recent years have witnessed a tremendous appeal in debating the relative decline in ‘territorially embedded’ conceptions of regions vis-à-vis the privileging of ‘relational and unbounded’ conceptions. Nevertheless, the most recent skirmishes see some scholars emphasise how it is not the privileging of one or other that is important, but recognising how it is increasingly different combinations of these elements that seem to be emerging in today’s new ‘regional world’. Here emphasis is being placed on a need to analyse how the different dimensions of socio-spatial relations (e.g. territory, place, network, scale) come together in different ways, at different times, and in different contexts to secure the overall coherence of capitalist, and other, social formations. The purpose of this paper is to make visible the politics of transformation in North West England, uncovering the role and strategies of individual and collective agents, organisations and institutions in orchestrating and steering regional economic development. For it is argued the unanswered question is not which sociospatial relations are dominant, emerging, or residual in any given space-time but understanding how and why they are dominant, emerging, or residual. The paper suggests the answer to this and other questions is to be found at the interface between emergent spatial strategies and inherited sociospatial configurations.
- Social Sciences
- Geography and Environment