Multiple Agoras: Local and Regional Environmental Policies between Globalization and European Pathways of Transformation
Bell's well-known assumption that the nation-state is becoming too small for the big problems of life and too big for the small problems of life, has become commonplace in the contemporary debate on the nation-state in a global age. Against the background of the upcoming EU East-enlargement, the article investigates some of the environmental policy implications behind this catchphrase. Drawing on Beck's thesis of an 'unbinding of politics' it is argued that a globalizing civil society continues to be embedded across various cultural and regulatory spaces. Attempts to (re)vitalize bottom-up policy input therefore require special attention to the dynamics of regional culture and local society, where the political and the sub-political actually intersect. This, however, is not an argument for a crude bottom-up model of governance, but rather a refined understanding of multi-level governance. The argument is supported by case study material form the German–Polish border region.