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Jakten på den attraktiva regionen: En studie om samtida regionaliseringsprocesser
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3691-0044
2014 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Becoming the Attractive Region : A Study of Contemporary Regionalization Processes (English)
Abstract [en]

This thesis explores different expressions of regionalism(s) and regionalization processes in a Swedish and a westernized context. The case studies in the study conducted are represented by two different kinds of regions, Värmland and The Eight Million City. Värmland is a rather typical administrative and political bordered region at the subnational level in the Midwest of Sweden. The Eight Million City in turn exemplifies an imaginary cross border region, stretching from Oslo in the north, to Gothenburg, Malmö and Copenhagen in the south, connected in a network by a larger infrastructure corridor. It is also an example of how new planning practices stretching over already institutionalized national as well as local and regional borders, can be seen as challenging earlier planning and policy structures connected to the state.

It is possible to see how different kinds of strategies related to strategic spatial planning practices are used to enhance the competitiveness of each region. In both cases this produce and reproduce different perceptions about what represents and constitute a competitive region. The empirical material analyzed in the study has been generated by interviews, participant observations, and document analysis based on discourse theory and discourse analysis.

Different imaginaries are institutionalized in each region by different means and practices. In Värmland new perceptions about regional citizenship, regional identity and the idea of what constitutes a modern region are being institutionalized into the regional context by building a brand for the region. In The Eight Million City the project idea is based on an enlarged labor market connecting the larger cities in the region together in a network. As well as in Värmland, the knowledge produced in the project contributes to institutionalize different perceptions of citizenship and what makes up a competitive and attractive region.

Abstract [sv]

Den här avhandlingen tar sin utgångspunkt i olika uttryck av samtida regionaliseringsprocesser och regionalism(er). Studien belyser två olika regionaliseringskontexter i form av Värmland och Åttamiljonerstaden. Två i grund och botten mycket olika regioner. Värmland utgör en subnationell administrativ region och därigenom ett exempel och ett uttryck för en decentralisering av statliga uppgifter rörande regional utveckling och tillväxt till den regionala nivån. Åttamiljonerstaden är en imaginär gränsöverskridande region som sträcker sig från Oslo i norr, över Göteborg och Malmö till Köpehamn i söder, där målet är att skapa en sammanhängande och funktionell arbetsmarknadsregion.

Trots de båda regionernas olikheter, så kan de båda studerade regionerna ses som ett uttryck för en alltmer normativ policyagenda som grundas på begrepp som globalisering, internationalisering och en konkurrensutsatt marknad. Detta har lett fram till olika former av rumslig strategisk planering som ska stärka respektive regions konkurrenskraft med olika medel. I sin tur leder detta till att olika diskursiva kunskapsrationaliteter om vad som utgör den ”attraktiva regionen” i form av nya styrningsformer, regional organisering och den gode regionmedborgaren implementeras och institutionaliseras i respektive regional kontext. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2014. , 260 p.
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2014:58
Keyword [en]
Regionalization, regionalism(s), regional assemblages, discursive practices, discursive knowledge, regions
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-34280ISBN: 978-91-7063-598-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-34280DiVA: diva2:754649
Public defence
2014-11-28, Erlandersalen, 11D 227, Karlstads universitet, Karlstad, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-11-10 Created: 2014-10-10 Last updated: 2015-01-23Bibliographically approved

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