Handbook on the Geographies of Regions and Territories
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Handbook on the Geographies of Regions and Territories

Edited by Anssi Paasi, John Harrison and Martin Jones

This new international Handbook provides the reader with the most up-to-date and original viewpoints on critical debates relating to the rapidly transforming geographies of regions and territories, as well as related key concepts such as place, scale, networks and regionalism. Bringing together renowned specialists who have extensively theorized these spatial concepts and contributed to rich empirical research in disciplines such as geography, sociology, political science and IR studies, this interdisciplinary collection offers fresh, cutting-edge, and contextual insights on the significance of regions and territories in today’s dynamic world.
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Chapter 35: Australasian regionalism

Andrew Beer

Abstract

This chapter examines regionalism in Australia and New Zealand and argues there are both profound similarities and differences between the two in their approach to regions, and the communities that live within them. In both nations neoliberal policies over the past three decades have eroded government support for regional policies, with decision makers favouring national economic growth over a concern for the spatial distribution of economic opportunities. In Australia this policy framework has been enacted within a federal system of government, while New Zealand has a unitary system of government. In both instances, regional policies have emerged episodically and have not found systematic translation to programmes and actions. The chapter goes on to demonstrate that in Australia over the past 20 years governments have given greater political priority to questions of regional well-being, and this renewed focus has emerged as a response to voter dis-satisfaction outside the capitals. It argues that this new political landscape has generated new opportunities for regions to gain access to resources and make representations to central governments for resources.

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