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Organizing European Space

Organizing European Space

First Edition

May 2000 | 224 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
This book combines perspectives from political science, history and geography to provide a comprehensive introduction to `Europe' or European space as we understand it today. Central to the book is the phenomenon of the sovereign state and the question of alternative ways of organizing Europe politically and economically.

The book explores four different ways of organizing space: state, union, region and network. By tracing the origins of the sovereign state in Europe, the book first reviews the resilience and adaptability of the sovereign state historically, and then looks at the implications of the contradictory processes of integration and fragmentation, or globalization and regionalization, present today.

A key concept developed throughout the book is that of networks, especially with respect to the European Union, and the relationship between regions, networks and cities, a relationship long traditional to Europe's political organization.

The authors review critically popular notions of a 'Europe of regions' or 'the end of the sovereign state' and instead serve to combine their different disciplinary conceptual tools and perspectives to provide new insights into the future organization of European space.

Organizing European Space will be essential reading for all students of contemporary Europe seeking a deeper understanding of the modern state and the complexity of changing notions of identity, political organization and territoriality inherent in Europe in the past, present and future.

State of Mind
Mapping Space
Historical Space
The Emergent State
The Resilient State
Transcending Space
Towards an Ever Closer Union?
Spatial Fragmentation
Places in Networks
Towards a New State of Mind

`Three leading Swedish social scientists - a geographer, a historian, and a

political scientist - convincingly show that Europe's political-geographical organization into various territories and networks is not just incidental but absolutely vital to understanding its

political-economic trajectory over the long term. Sensitive to how Europe

has been studied as much as to their own reading of its geographical

organization, the authors provide the single best account in English that I

have seen of a Europe that is much more geographically complex than a

singular focus on its division into national states often makes it seem. In

providing a rich transdisciplinary perspective on Europe's complex

geographical organization of state territories, city-based networks,

regions, and supranational entities the authors succeed in throwing fresh

light on the continent's political trajectory and suggesting the main directions it may take in this new century' - John A Agnew, University of California, Los Angeles

This is an excellent book on the way in which European space has been organised via state, union, region and network. I found the key concept of a network especially useful - especially when it comes to looking at sub- and transnational regional identity. Recommended reading for any students of social sciences and humanities, but especially of history, cultural studies and geography.

Ms Silke Reeploeg
Centre for Nordic Studies, University of the Highlands and Islands
May 31, 2011

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