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The Political Economy of Scale.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter


Publication date2002
Host publicationGlobalization, Regionalization, and Cross-Border Regions
EditorsMarkus Perkmann, Ngai-Ling Sum
Place of publicationBasingstoke
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)0333919297
Original languageEnglish


This chapter discusses the general re-scaling of economic, political, and social processes in order to clarify what is at stake in studying contemporary cross-border regions. Its starting point is the 'relativization of scale' associated with the growing decline in the relative structured coherence among national economy, national state, and national society that characterized the heyday of the postwar boom. The end of the Cold War, the decomposition of the Soviet Bloc, and the �opening� of China to foreign capital has reinforced this relativization of scale. These changes are reflected in a proliferation of scales on which attempts are now being made to restructure economic, political, and social relations -- ranging from economic globalization, global governance, and global culture to the promotion of local economies, neighbourhood democracy, and 'tribal' identities. The chapter notes the wide range of contemporary re-scaling strategies and locates cross-border regions within this framework. It also distinguishes nine different processes and/or strategies that lead to the emergence and consolidation of cross-border regions. It concludes with comments on the significance of CBR within the broader context of state restructuring.