Constructing EuroMan. The Enactment of Regional Identity-formation in the European Integration Process

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In the European Union's regional policy targets as well as in research on regionalism and regionalisation, a distinction is often made between a new and an old regionalism. Regional policies were traditionally influenced by a centre/periphery problematic, where the goal was to integrate the regional periphery in dynamic state-centred economies. In the course of the 1980s, however, interest has shifted towards regions as motors of growth, thereby making the region an actor in its own right rather than a passive receiver of subsidies. The shift in focus can be regarded a result of so-called globalisation-processes, particularly the increased international extension of market-forces and a corresponding restructuring of the European nation-state and integration-processes.  

In this article, we shed light on 'EuroMan': an actor-type which can be seen as an effect of the new regional policies and approaches. Eurman is possessing the ability and will to pursue rational-strategic goals and he appears in the form of an economic agent as well as a participant in political processes. Regionalisation, identity-formation and the key characteristics of EuroMan unite in EU regional policies and New Regionalism. In the first two parts of the article, this connection is analysed in detail. In the last part, we will illustrate how EuroMan is enacted in the Spanish region Catalonia and in the border town Görlitz-Zgorzelec in the Polish-German borderland. These two examples have been made possible by extensive ethnological field-work conducted by the two authors respectively.


Original languageEnglish
JournalEthnologia Scandinavica
Pages (from-to)39-60
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2008

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - New Regionalism, European integration, German-Polish Borderregion, Catalonia

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