Foregrounding the region
Paasi, Anssi; Metzger, Jonathan (2016-11-07)
Anssi Paasi & Jonathan Metzger (2017) Foregrounding the region, Regional Studies, 51:1, 19-30, DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2016.1239818
© 2016 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
This paper scrutinizes the everlasting but transforming significance of the concept of region for regional studies and social practice. After tracing the changing meanings of this category, it highlights one characteristic aspect of the progress of the academic conceptualizations of the region: recurrent iterations of critiques regarding various forms of essentialism and fetishism. The main focus then moves to the conceptualization of the region and the articulation of ideas about what regions substantially ‘are’ and ‘do’, and what makes the region a worthy object of attention (scholarly or otherwise). The paper concludes with a discussion about the implications of the perspective on regions developed in the article for the future of regional studies.
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