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Regulating Regional Uneven Development and the Politics of Reconfiguring Belgian State Space



Abstract:  This article mobilises a strategic-relational approach to state spatial restructuring to overcome the weaknesses of the conventional “New Regionalist” account in economic geography of the resurgence of the region as a strategic site for economic governance. Focusing on hegemonic projects and the shifting nexus of spatial dependencies and engagements through which these are reproduced, undermined and transformed, the role and geography of political agency in state spatial restructuring is highlighted. To illustrate this point, I analyse the construction of new regional state spaces in Belgium, paying particular attention to the hegemonic projects that create a social basis for particular state spaces, the construction of collective agency on different scales (Belgian-national and Flemish-regional) and the various ways in which these processes are informed by pre-existing state spatial and scalar selectivities.