The Rise of Common Political Order
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The Rise of Common Political Order

Institutions, Public Administration and Transnational Space

Edited by Jarle Trondal

The Rise of Common Political Order brings together leading research focusing on the conditions for the formation of common political order in Europe. The book aims to define common political order in conceptual terms, to study instances of order formation at different levels of governance and ultimately to comprehend how they profoundly challenge inherent political orders.
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Chapter 6: Macro-regional strategies of the European Union: a new research agenda

Tobias Chilla, Stefan Gänzle, Franziska Sielker and Dominic Stead


Chapter 6 offers a state-of-the-art review of research on political order formation at the macro-regional level in the European Union. The chapter brings together different strands of literature, in particular from political science, spatial planning and geography. Drawing on previous examples of sub-regional cooperation, such as for instance Baltic Sea regional cooperation, EU macro-regional strategies have recently been introduced as a new instrument in the EU’s territorial cooperation and cohesion policy repertoire. To date, four macro-regional strategies have been developed (Baltic Sea Region, 2009, Danube Region, 2011, Adriatic-Ionian Region, 2014 and the Alpine Region, 2015). By establishing comprehensive frameworks for cross-sectoral policy coordination (e.g. transport infrastructure and environmental protection) and hence proposing a new form of territorially bound common political order, these strategies aim to encourage EU member/partner countries in macro-regional territories to contribute to active territorial cooperation. Macro-regions have generated scholarly interest across a number of disciplines, including geography, regional and spatial planning, political science and public administration. The emergence of macro-regional strategies has led to new questions and academic debates on issues such as their impacts on existing practices of territorial cooperation and whether they challenge or complement previously established formats of (sub-)regional cooperation. Drawing on a review of existing literature, this contribution seeks to take stock of existing research on the subject, discuss the conceptual starting points, and chart possible directions for future research. The chapter concludes that the conceptual debates in political and spatial sciences exhibit a number of overlaps that might be fruitfully explored in the future.

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