RegPol² takes research gaps relating to the intensifying regional polarisation in CEE as its starting point and defines three major research topics:
(1) to understand the evolution, (re-)production and persistence of core-periphery relations in CEE,
(2) to identify and compare policy responses to regional polarisation at different scales, and
(3) to identify patterns of adaptation as well as strategies and potentials to overcome disparities.
To tackle these topics, the network is organized in sub-teams working in strongly interconnected work packages (WP). Each WP draws together five to six individual projects of the recruited researchers jointly working on the three research topics. Three teams will work on the evolution, (re-)production and persistence of core-periphery relations (WP1), the governance of core-periphery relations (WP2) and on forms of socio-economic adaptation, strategies or potentials to overcome the disparities (WP3).
The evolution of core and peripheral regions does not follow any ‘natural’ order.Instead, centrality, peripherality and their interrelation are produced by social interaction, territorial mobility, political and economic decisions. Although regional polarisation in this respect can change over time, the underlying structures are very persistent and tend to reproduce themselves. This WP therefore considers how the perception of location (dis-)advantages, migration and demographic developments as well as particular policies, have contributed to the evolution, reproduction and persistence of centrality and peripherality and regional polarisation. Furthermore, it deals with the question of how core and peripheral areas are socially constructed in a multi-scalar way – with overlapping local/regional, national, European and global forms of polarisation. The individual projects are as follows:
With a set of projects dealing with issues relating to the governance of core-periphery relations, WP2 investigates various forms of policy responses to regional polarisation and peripheralisation in CEE. Although, with the Territorial Agenda 2020, the EU has been following the concept of territorial cohesion since 2010, there has been very little research about policy responses to intensifying regional polarisation. Hence, WP2 analyses the emergence, institutionalisation and implementation of regional policies and various forms of public intervention applying concepts of governance and leadership.A special focus is put on predominant discourses and paradigms of European, national and regional policies and their implications for innovative responses to social and economic polarisation in a regional context.The work package includes the following projects:
Although often receiving only marginal attention in national development strategies, non-metropolitan, rural and peripheral areas are home to almost half of the European population, bear major spatial functions and in many cases play a decisive role in political, social and economic innovation processes. Questioning current paradigms which regard the city as the major centre for social, economic and political innovation, WP3 perceives also peripheral areas as arenas within which future development perspectives arise. Against this background, innovative activities from civil society and businesses in peripheralised spatial settings shall be identified and evaluated in order to analyse their potential for new forms of regional development and bottom-up social, economic and policy change. The following projects are part of WP3:
Thilo Lang (Project coordinator):
Franziska Görmar (Project manager): F_Goermar@ifl-leipzig.de
Franziska Weyrich (Financial manager): F_Weyrich@ifl-leipzig.de
WP leader for Dissemination and Outreach activities: MEPCO