Cross-border regionalization, the INTERREG III A initiative, and local cooperation at the Finnish – Swedish border
AbstractWhereas most studies to date have viewed cross-border regionalization and cooperation from ‘top-down’ regional and institutional perspectives, and within the context of urban regions, I am concerned with the implementation of cross-border initiatives in the rural Finnish – Swedish border area. The focus is firstly on the implementation of cross-border projects in the European Union’s INTERREG III A North programme (2000 – 06), and secondly on grassroots cooperation and local actors’ experiences of cross-border initiatives. The findings indicate that cooperation is not a straightforward process of ‘ignoring’ state borders and creating new regional spaces across borders. The INTERREG programme documents emphasize the development of a functional, harmonious cross-border region. When the examination is moved to the local level and everyday institutional practices are considered, cooperation and the implementation of initiatives appear in a rather different light. Practices of cooperation are intertwined with different governmental and nongovernmental structures across multiple scales, but it is the state border which determines the norms and spatial organization of this cooperation and cross-border networks are still sparse compared with their national counterparts. What this paper suggests is that we should include the national as a significant scalar dimension more profoundly in our analysis of cross-border regionalization and cooperation.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Pion Ltd, London in its journal Environment and Planning A.
Volume (Year): 43 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 (May)
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Web page: http://www.pion.co.uk
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