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Performing regions: Territorial development and cultural politics in a Europe of the regions

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Andrew Donaldson


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In this paper I examine the politics of regional development in the European Union from the perspective of language and identity. The idea that regions are performed through forms of knowledge and political practice is advanced and explored through an engagement with development as a discourse. Within the European Union regional-development discourse is inextricably tied into the cultural political rhetoric of the 'Europe of the Regions' concept. Local actors can utilise the discourse of development as a political resource. To illustrate this process the concept of cultural literacy is developed and explored through a case study of cultural and political activism related to the European Union Objective 1 programme in Cornwall in the South West of England. Cultural literacy refers to knowledge that aids in the assimilation of further knowledge (about a specific culture) through the creation and comprehension of tailored communications; such knowledge is inherently political and can act as a central constituent of a social identity. The discourse of European regional development itself can also be coopted into new cultural literacies towards specific political goals. In this way regional development discourses can become part of the performance of regions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Donaldson A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environment and Planning A

Year: 2006

Volume: 38

Issue: 11

Pages: 2075-2092

ISSN (print): 0308-518X

ISSN (electronic): 1472-3409

Publisher: Pion Ltd.


DOI: 10.1068/a37104


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