Revisiting the concepts of scale and rescaling in relation to the EU macro-regional strategies

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Seeking to contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the processes of rescaling in European macro-regional strategies, this paper aims to develop and test a conceptual framework to explain the underlying processes of rescaling. In an attempt to draw on the conceptual gateways in the main debates of scale and rescaling, we observe a mismatch with empirical observations on how stakeholders construct scale. As a result of a structured literature review, and based on empirical observations in the Danube region, we suggest that the key to understanding rescaling processes is the conceptualization of scale as a construct, constantly contested through multiple dimensions. Drawing upon recent developments within planning literature arguing for a co-existence between relational and territorial spaces and our empirical information, the paper suggests a multidimensional conceptualization of scale of four dimensions: (i) regulatory/jurisdictional; (ii) funding/resources; (iii) knowledge/values and (iv) network. We argue that scales consist of four co-existing dimensions which have impacts on social and economic relations as well as policy-making. Through the analysis of the Danube Region example the paper concludes that processes of rescaling often occur indirectly. We observe that case stakeholders make use of networks and knowledge at the macro-regional level in order to influence decisions in the funding and regulatory dimensions of the national and EU level.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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