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  Apolitical or cultural movement which seeks to politicize the territorial predicaments of its regions with the aim of protecting or furthering regional interests. An important distinction should be drawn between functional regionalism, in which the state is responsible for regional demarcation, such as administrative and planning regions, and a regional movement with feelings of collective identity that are not necessarily rooted in an officially defined region but emanate from a grassroots or homeland Identity, although its politicization can often be strengthened by such an arrangement (see regional alliance). Regionalism can also involve ethnic regions (see ethnicity; nationalism), for all regionalisms have in common a counter-culture, aims of autonomy and local power, and a political rhetoric and self-assertiveness based on a deep-seated mistrust of what is commonly perceived to be a remote and overly centralized state. Despite local economic and social restructuring, regional identities have proved highly malleable; both ethnic and non-ethnic-based regionalisms have emerged over the past decade in particular to play a part both in engaging in a politics with new forms of continental (e.g. European Union) and global governance, and in relation to the global economy through bypassing the formal structures of the nation-state and establishing links with other globalizing regions (cf. globalization). Many regions in Europe now aspire to being part of a more federated form of European governance (e.g. the Basque Country, Catalonia, Scotland). (See federalism.) (GES)

Suggested Reading Loughlin, J. 1996: \'Europe of the Regions\' and the federalisation of Europe. Publius 26 (4): 141-62. Le Gales, P. and Lequesene, C. 1998: Regions in Europe. London: Routledge. Smith, G.E. 1985: Nationalism, regionalism and the state. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 3 (1): 3-9. Smith, G.E., ed., 1995: Federalism. The multiethnic challenge. London: Longman. Taylor, P.J. 1991: A theory and practice of the regions. The case of Europe. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 9: 183-95.



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