Between social and spatial convergence and divergence: an exploration into the political geography of European contact areas
Author: Bufon, Milan
Source: GeoJournal, Volume 66, Number 4, July 2006 , pp. 341-352(12)
Abstract:The European continent, the motherland of nationalism, and the part of the world where political borders and different territorial and cultural identities are mostly interrelated, is now facing new challenges regarding how best to represent its numerous interests within one system. With the increase of international integration European countries began to devote greater attention to the development problems of their border areas that had to be helped to undertake certain functions in the international integration process. The fostering of a more balanced regional development also resulted in a strengthening of regional characteristics, which the new model could no longer ignore. Regional characteristics in turn have always been preserved in Europe by persistent historical and cultural elements of ethnic and linguistic variety. Therefore, it is not surprising that the process of European integration based on the new regional development model was accompanied by a parallel process of ethnic or regional awakening of minorities and other local communities. The key question for contemporary European (though of course this is not limited to Europe) political geography is, then, how the process summarised under the twin labels of social convergence and deterritorialisation will effect the persistent maintenance of regional identities and the corresponding divergence of regional spaces. Or, in other words: is the ‘unity in diversity’ European programme ever practicable and exportable on a world-wide scale or are we to be absorbed by a new global ‘melting pot’?
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Email: Milan.Bufon@UPR.Si
Publication date: July 1, 2006