1st Edition

Political Geography of Cities and Regions Changing Legitimacy and Identity

By Kees Terlouw Copyright 2023
    188 Pages 31 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    188 Pages 31 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This monograph presents a novel typology of relational and territorial perspectives on legitimacy and identity. This typology is then applied to two different political and historical contexts, namely the trajectories of the metropolitan region Amsterdam in the Netherlands and the metropolitan region Ruhr in Germany. The historical discussion spans 500 years, providing valuable depth to the study.

    Taken as a whole, the book provides a new perspective within the territorial-relational dichotomy and the geographies of discontent debate. Its key insights are that identity and political legitimacy are embedded in history and that both relational and territorial perspectives on these issues are time and place dependent.

    This book will be stimulating reading for advanced students, researchers, and policymakers working in political geography, human geography, regional studies, and broader social and political sciences.

    1. Introduction: Looking beyond national populism, 2. The relational and territorial perspectives, 3. Early modernity and urban autonomy, 4. Industrial modernity: integrating cities in the national territory, 5. Late modernity: from territorial regulation to competition, 6. Metropolitan regions: competitiveness justifying the new institutional framework, 7. Challenging the metropolitan region: local resistance identities, 8. The resurgence of the territorial perspective: universal villagism and localised territorialisations, 9. Conclusion: the cycle of dominance of the territorial and relational perspective


    Kees Terlouw is Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands.

    “One of Terlouw’s exciting themes is the question of resistance identities that often emerges when spatial entities are transformed. […] Overall, this analysis of the long-term evolution of the case study regions is multilayered and rich in details. […] All in all, Terlouw’s book provides the reader with an appealing and detailed geohistorical analysis of the developments of his two research areas and also introduces a wide array of concepts and frameworks that are potentially useful for such an analysis elsewhere. I liked particularly chapters 7 and 8, which provide a thick analysis of local resistance identities in research areas and a more general or synthetic discussion of the resurgence of the territorial perspective.” — Anssi Paasi (21 Aug 2023): Political geography of cities and regions: Changing legitimacy and identity, Regional Studies, DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2023.2241270