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What happened to the song of praise for the regions?

Peter Arbo
UiT – Norges Arktiske Universitet
Peter Arbo
UiT – Norges Arktiske Universitet
Open Panel

Abstract

During the last decades the regions have attracted a lot of scholarly and political attention. They have been presented as the new engines for innovation and economic growth, as key arenas for policy coordination and network governance within a multi-level governance system, and as vital reference points for identification and belonging in a globalized world. The notion of a ‘Europe of regions’ spurred great regional enthusiasm even in non-EU member countries like Norway. The paper provides a critical examination of the background and main assumptions of this new regionalism. It also discusses the recent dwindling interest for regions in many European countries. The contested character of regionalism and regionalization processes is illustrated by the government administration reform which was implemented in Norway in 2010.