Handbook on Cohesion Policy in the EU
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Handbook on Cohesion Policy in the EU

Edited by Simona Piattoni and Laura Polverari

This Handbook covers all major aspects of EU Cohesion policy, one of the most significant areas of intervention of the European Union. Over five parts, It discusses this policy’s history and governing principles; the theoretical approaches from which it can be assessed; the inter-institutional and multi-level dynamics that it tends to elicit; its practical implementation and impact on EU member states; its interactions with other EU policies and strategies; and the cognitive maps and narratives with which it can be associated. An absolute must for all students of the EU.
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Chapter 32: Multilevel governance and multiscalar forms of territorialisation

Enrico Gualini


Cohesion policy has introduced wide-ranging changes in the institutional rationales and in the policy practices of territorial development in the European Union (EU). The notion of multilevel governance has significantly contributed to interpreting Cohesion policy’s contribution to European integration as a ‘polity creating process’ and to realising a convergence of research agendas on regionalism, regional governance and Europeanisation. The notion however shows shortcomings in addressing the related emergence of new territorialisation phenomena in the EU. As part of a concern for understanding the changing meaning of territoriality in European countries, the chapter critically discusses multilevel governance research and its contribution to understanding the new spatial configurations taken by emergent governance practices in Europe. The aim is a heuristics of change in state territoriality integrating the analysis of multilevel governmental relations with the analysis of multiscalar governance practices.

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