Changing Urban and Regional Relations in a Globalizing World

Changing Urban and Regional Relations in a Globalizing World

Europe as a Global Macro-Region

Edited by Kathy Pain and Gilles Van Hamme

In this important book, Kathy Pain and Gilles Van Hamme bring together a prestigious group of contributors to provide a systematic assessment of the dynamic, multi-scale network restructuring and spaces of flows associated with globalization that have shaped Europe’s contemporary position in the world during the past decade.

Chapter 1: Theoretical and methodological challenges

Kathy Pain and Gilles Van Hamme

Subjects: geography, cities, economic geography, human geography, urban and regional studies, cities, regional studies, urban studies


The globalization phenomenon has been discussed and debated in the social sciences literature for over a decade. Both its existence and its meaning have been widely contested from different viewpoints and perspectives. Academic debate has focused most notably on whether globalization is really something new (for example, Veltz, 1996; Hirst and Thompson, 1996, 1999; Amin, 1997; Dicken et al., 1997; Chase-Dunn, 1999; Sklair, 1999; Cochrane and Pain, 2000; Held, 2000; Held and McGrew, 2000; Beaverstock et al., 2000; Sassen, 2007; Robinson, 2011). We may think this a purely theoretical debate but identifying what really is new about the current global era may help in understanding the profound changes that people and states are being swept up in, in Europe and across the world. This is the primary focus of this book. This book reports on the findings from a major two-and-a-half-year European Spatial Observation Network (ESPON) study - Territorial Impact of Globalization for Europe and its Regions ('TIGER') - which has set out to investigate the reality of the processes associated with contemporary globalization in Europe within a global context. Led by Gilles Van Hamme at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and funded by the European Commission, an international research team based in the UK, France, Bulgaria, Sweden and Belgium has together drawn on original data and evidence to critically analyse Europe's changing spatial relations in a fluid global context and their significance for territorial strategy.