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Strategies for Regional Growth & Development: Implications for Regional Citizenship & Belonging


Over the past decades, the literature on regionalism and regionalisation has grown considerably, and so has the literature on citizenship. But although globalisation, international migration, and processes of state rescaling, regionalism and regionalisation have vast implications for the formation of political, economic and social citizenship at regional levels, few explicit attempts have been made to bridge the literature on regionalism and regionalisation, with the literature on citizenship. Accordingly, the main aim of this project is to - empirically and theoretically elaborate on the concept of regional citizenship.


Citizenship, Diversity, Regional development, Regionalism , Belonging


The main aim of this project is to - empirically and theoretically - elaborate on the concept of regional citizenship. This is done through emprical studies in East Sweden, an area where several on-going processes of region building can be observed at the moment. Moreover, the project aims at organizing a workshop where the issue of regional citizenship is brought to discussion. The workshop aims at theoretical development and elaboration, and at bridging the gap between the literature on regionalism and regionalisation at the one hand, and the literature on citizenship at the other.

The workshop will have a Nordic focus, and invite papers where the issue of "regional citizenship" is targeted with empirical examples from regions within a Nordic country. Since citizenship is likely to denote differently in different kinds of regions, the organisers welcome papers where the empirical material has been drawn from political regions, functional regions, affirmative or ?cultural? regions as well as other regional constructions. It needs however to be reminded that "region" in the context of the workshop is a sub-national unit. Accordingly, it is sub-national regions within the Nordic countries that are of interest here, not Norden itself as a macro region. Examples from Nordic trans-border regions are however of great interest for the workshop.

Priority will also be given to papers with a more theoretical approach. We need, initially, to explore whether there is such a thing as "regional citizenship", and, if so, to elucidate if this citizenship is gendered, classed or ethnified. Another issue of interest is whether a regional citizenship is detached from the notion of what it means to be ?national?? We need, furthermore, to explore whether the regional citizenship is more accessible for new ethnic minorities and migrants than citizenship at other spatial and conceptual levels. Thus, in the intersection between the fields of regional studies and citizenship research, questions regarding migration, ethnicity, gender and class come to the fore.

The workshop was held in March 2009 and arranged in cooperation with the Nordic section of the Regional Studies Association and with partners in Denmark, Norway and Finland. The remeso research fellows mentioned, Peo Hansen, Magnus Dahlstedt, Mekonnen Tesfahuney, all participated in the project by presenting papers at the workshop. The external research fellows, Henrik Halkier, Anssi Paasi, Peter de Souza, have participated in the project as members of the academic committee, elaborating on the programme for the workshop. Professor Eloenore Kofman, Midlesex University UK, and Professor Charlie Jeffery, EUI Florence, participated in the project as key note speakers at the workshop.


Syssner, J. (2008), ?Den regionala medborgaren?, in Andersson, F., Ek, R., Molina, I (red.) Regionalpolitikens Geografi, Lund: Studentlitteratur.

Syssner, J. (2009) ?No Space for Citizen??, paper presented at ?Is There a Regional Citizenship??, International workshop arranged by REMESO and Regional Studies Association, Norrköping, Sweden.

Syssner, J. (2008), ?Finns det ett regionalt medborgarskap?? i Gränsbrytning.

Syssner, J. (2011) ?No space for Citizens? Conceptualisations of Citizenship in a functional Region?, in Journal of Citizenship Studies, 12/04.

Other Academic Output

March 2009: Nordic workshop arranged in cooperation with Regional Studies Association, patrially funded by FORMAS and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.

2008 - 2009


FAS/FORTE Research environment funding
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond

REMESO Project Leader

Josefina Syssner, Research fellow

Participants from REMESO

Magnus Dahlstedt
Mekonnen Tesfahuney
Peo Hansen

Participants not from REMESO

  • Anssi Paasi, Prof (Fin).
  • Charlie Jeffery, Prof. (UK).
  • Eleonore Kofman, Prof. (UK).
  • Henrik Halkier, Prof (DK).
  • Peter de Souza, PhD (N).

Contact for project


Last updated: 2011-05-02

Page responsible: erik.berggren@liu.se
Last updated: 2020-05-27