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New Geographies of Europe
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Regional and Local Development in Times of Polarisation

Re-thinking Spatial Policies in Europe

Editors: Lang, Thilo, Görmar, Franziska (Eds.)

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  • Features expert analysis from the leading researchers in the field of socio-spatial polarisation and uneven development 
  • Combines critical geographical thought and spatial studies perspectives with planning approaches, economic development perspectives and issues of policy and politics
  • The first book to examine regional policy, uneven development and issues of spatial development using an integrated perspective
  • Valuable resource for scholars, students and policy makers working in sub-regional, regional, national and European administration and regional development projects
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  • ISBN 978-981-13-1190-1
  • This book is an open access book, you can download it for free on
Hardcover £44.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
About this book

Despite the emphasis of the European Regional Policy on territorial cohesion, regional disparities have been increasing within Europe in the past years. The metropolitan areas in almost all countries are considerably growing while regions outside of agglomerations are stagnating or even declining. Against this background this book aims to provide an understanding of the underlying processes of polarisation and related regional and local policies.
This open access volume contributes to the debates about polarisation and regional development by focussing on questions of spatial justice, power distribution and policy transfer. Theoretical and empirically grounded contributions show that European policies are indeed reproducing socio-spatial inequalities instead of challenging them. The book shows further the existing potentials and limits of individuals, economic, political and civil society actors to respond to polarisation on the regional and local level.
In this book conceptual thoughts on polarisation, regional policy and regional development are combined with empirical research and resulting implications for policymaking. As such, it is a valuable source for early career students and researchers as well as professionals in the field of regional and economic development, policy consultants, and policy makers.

About the authors

Thilo Lang is Head of the Department of Regional Geography of Europe at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, Germany, and Lecturer at the Global and European Studies Institute at the University of Leipzig, Germany.
Franziska Görmar is Project Manager and Research Fellow at Department of Regional Geography of Europe at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, Germany.


“I wholeheartedly recommend this book, not only for scholars in the fields of regional development and policy, spatial planning and geography, but for all those who want to better understand the spatial dynamics of contemporary Europe.” (Szabolcs Fabula, Hungarian Geographical Bulletin, Vol. 68 (4), 2019)
“The book is timely and highly relevant for the current debates around re-imagining the Cohesion Policy. … The volume is of interest and a useful resource for all those searching to understand regional inequalities as a ‘relational, multi-dimensional and multi-scalar concept’, as well as for those interested in conceptual and policy alternatives to current framework of Cohesion Policy.” (Mihail EVA, Eastern Journal of European Studies, Vol. 10 (1), 2019)
“The book makes a valuable contribution to the burgeoning debate on socio-spatial polarisation, especially with respect to our understanding of the specificities of CEE countries, where sub-national administrative capacity and civil society organizations are nothing like western-centric scholars imagine them to be.” (Kevin Morgan, Eurasian Geography and Economics, June 20, 2019)

Table of contents (15 chapters)

Table of contents (15 chapters)
  • Re-thinking Regional and Local Policies in Times of Polarisation: An Introduction

    Pages 1-25

    Görmar, Franziska (et al.)

  • Geographical Uneven Development and Regional Futures: A Conversation

    Pages 29-59

    Hudson, Ray (et al.)

  • “New” Questions of Peripherality in Europe or How Neoliberal Austerity Contradicts Socio-Spatial Cohesion

    Pages 61-78

    Hadjimichalis, Costis

  • State Power, Spatial Inequality, and Geographical Expertise: Notes on Method

    Pages 79-94

    Kuus, Merje

  • Re-conceptualising Territorial Cohesion Through the Prism of Spatial Justice: Critical Perspectives on Academic and Policy Discourses

    Pages 97-119

    Jones, Rhys (et al.)

Buy this book

  • ISBN 978-981-13-1190-1
  • This book is an open access book, you can download it for free on
Hardcover £44.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)

Services for this book


Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Regional and Local Development in Times of Polarisation
Book Subtitle
Re-thinking Spatial Policies in Europe
  • Thilo Lang
  • Franziska Görmar
Series Title
New Geographies of Europe
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
Hardcover ISBN
Series ISSN
Edition Number
Number of Pages
XXIV, 382
Number of Illustrations
15 b/w illustrations, 13 illustrations in colour