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Title:In the Laboratory of Europe: Governing the "Europe of Regions" on the Polish/German Frontier
Author(s):Asher, Andrew D.
Subject(s):European Union
Politics and government
Abstract:In the aftermath of World War II, one of the primary motivations for creating the institutions that eventually evolved into the European Union (EU) was to ensure a more lasting peace in Europe by connecting, or "integrating," member nations in such a way that a resurgence of strong nationalism could not again lead to war. To this end, the EU has conceptualized Europe as a "Europe of Regions" through which it administers socioeconomic policies at the sub-national level through local governments. These regional policies are also meant explicitly to counteract potential nationalism among the EU's member nations. However, the governing structure of the EU itself privileges the sovereign nation-state, while the politics of the EU commonly fracture along national lines. Therefore, the EU creates tensions not only between the local regions and national governments, but also between the national and international governments. In this manner, local administrations can find themselves aligned with international institutions in opposition to their own national governments. This paper explores the tension and competition of three levels of governance (local, national, and international), within the EU by utilizing the case of transnational regional institutions called "Euroregions" located along the Polish/German Border. Because they are a hybrid form of governmentality, these Euroregions are a location where the conflict between different levels of government are played out "on the ground" through policy initiatives and projects directed at "integrating" Poland and Germany at the local level, and demonstrate the reorientation of the conception of state sovereignty in a transnational context.
Issue Date:2004
Publisher:European Union Center
Series/Report:Vol. 4, No. 3
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Peer Reviewed:not peer reviewed
Rights Information:Copyright owned by Asher, Andrew
Date Available in IDEALS:2006-08-28

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