Bringing together comparative case studies from Central Europe and South America, this book focuses on 'new' regions - regions created as political projects of modernization and 're-scaling'. Through this approach it de-codes 'New Regionalism' in terms of its contributions to institutional change, while acknowledging its contested nature and contradictions. It questions whether these regions are merely a strategy of neo-liberal adjustment to changing political and economic conditions, or whether they are indicative of true reform, greater citizen participation and empowerment. It assesses whether these regions are really representing something new or whether they are a reconfiguration of traditional power relationships. It provides a timely critical analysis of 'region-building' and the extent to which national processes of decentralization and sub-national processes of regionalism can enhance the effectiveness and responsiveness of governance.
'This is a comparative collection that critically examines the new regionalism debate through the examination of specific cases. It is a valuable contribution to the discussion of regional politics, institutions and policies, as well as to the literature on modernization and democratization in Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe.' Michael Keating, European University Institute, Italy