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Multi-scalar geographies of polarisation and peripheralisation: A case study of Czechia


  • Šimon Martin

    (Czech Academy of Science, Institute of Sociology, Department of Local and Regional Studies, Jilská 1, Praha 1, 110 00, Czechia)


A key issue in socio-economic geography is to understand how regional and social polarisation shapes the territorial organisation of society. We argue that effects of polarisation are not translated simply and straightforwardly in a whole region, but vary to a large extent with respect to different types of accessibility areas. We applied the time-accessibility framework to classify a territory into urban, peri-urban, rural, and remote rural areas at a national and regional scale. Subsequently, we computed comparative indicators for this territorial classification, measuring three dimensions of peripherality for a period of thirty years. The analysis illustrates how polarisation and peripheralisation works at a detailed spatial level. A case study of the Ústí region shows re-polarisation and bi-polarisation of the region in its path from socialist urbanisation in the 1980s to regional peripheralisation in 2011. The use of the time-accessibility framework allows to assess regional changes within long-term and broader changes of core-periphery relations at national level and thus allows for a better understanding of the different nature of socialist and post-socialist peripheries. Finally, the article offers methodical procedures and tools allowing for a comparable research of polarisation and peripheralisation. Thus, it is responding to the call for more comparative research of peripheral areas in Europe.

Suggested Citation

  • Šimon Martin, 2017. "Multi-scalar geographies of polarisation and peripheralisation: A case study of Czechia," Bulletin of Geography. Socio-economic Series, Sciendo, vol. 37(37), pages 125-137, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:vrs:buogeo:v:37:y:2017:i:37:p:125-137:n:8
    DOI: 10.1515/bog-2017-0029

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Franz Barjak, 2001. "Regional Disparities in Transition Economies: A Typology for East Germany and Poland," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 289-311.
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