Beyond Europeanization and for Independence? A Critical Reassessment of the Regional Imagination in Europe – Chairs: Adriano Cirulli (Uninettuno: email@example.com) and Carlo Pala (Università di Sassari: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Discussant: Michel Huysseune (Vesalius College, Vrije Universiteit Brussel; email@example.com)
The vigorous emergence in recent years of pro-independence politics in several European regions (Catalonia, Scotland, the Basque country, Flanders) requires a re-thinking of the place of regionalism in the European Union. The until now predominant paradigm has emphasized the Europeanization of regional identities, i.e. their accommodation within the multi-level governance structure of the European Union policy space, and hence their acceptance of existent nation-states, but also a process whereby regional imaginings were standardized within a narration that highlighted the territory’s evolution towards a European model of a region ready for the challenges of a competitive economy.
While problematizing the paradigm of Europeanization, the rise of pro-independence politics is characterized by its strong heterogeneity which challenges its theoretical interpretation. In the context of the present crisis, justifications of independence may be read as exemplifying a “regionalism of the rich”, a local version of the increasing rejection of solidarity between richer and less privileged countries and regions in Europe. However, contemporary pro-independence parties and social movements are characterized by a strong ideological variety, including movements from the radical right to the radical left, and this ideological variety also includes drastically different perspectives on the desired independence. Moreover, in most cases the rise of pro-independence tendencies pre-dates the present economic crisis, suggesting the necessity of an interpretative framework with a longer time perspective (including the relation between articulations of independence and Europeanized regional identities).
We would like to propose an investigation of articulations of regional identities in Europe that explores their plurality and diversity, and investigates their recent transformations. We welcome in particular contributions
a) That explore and contextualize the content of contemporary articulations of regional imaginations, particularly when related to pro-independence politics
b) That offer a critical rereading of dominant “Europeanized” regional discourses, deconstructing their ideological premises, highlighting their silences and internal contradictions, and the discourses on significant Others they imply
c) That explore dissident forms of national imaginings that offer an alternative to the hegemonic Europeanized format
d) That analyze contemporary articulations of regional identity in Europe from a comparative perspective
e) That offer innovative methodological approaches and theoretical reflections on the construction of regional imaginations.
Papers can be submitted in the following languages: Italian, English, French and Spanish
The selected papers will be considered for the publication in a forthcoming edited book for a series promoted by the Italian scientific Journal “Nazioni e Regioni – Studi e ricerche sulla comunità immaginata” (www.nazionieregioni.it)