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Producing Globalization:: Legitimizing Regional Governance Regimes
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies.
2014 (English)In: Diverse Regions: Building Resilient Communities and Territories / [ed] Elizabeth Mitchell, Regional Studies Association , 2014, 103- p.Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper explores the discursive construction of globalization as a particular form of rationale in sub-national regional development. As such it departs from an understanding of space as relational and holds that globalization can be theorized as a reconfiguration of the spatial aspects of our social relations (Massey, 1994, 2005). Therefore, it is argued here, to investigate globalization is to investigate aspects of the multiplicity of social relations that (re)produces the phenomenon.

Here I depart from an instance of space that has not often been used as a basis for understanding articulations of globalization, namely the sub-national region. Using a governmentality framework (Dean, 2010) I trace how globalization is discursively (re)produced within regional governance in Sweden, focusing on the practices, technologies and rationalities that constitutes this regime.

More specifically, in terms of empiric material, I analyze a broad corpus of Regional Governance Documents (RGD) as well as the wide production of reports that was the outcome of Sweden’s so called Globalization Council. Methodologically the analysis is situated within the aforementioned framework of governmentality studies (Dean, 2010; Miller & Rose, 2008). This framework is then used as a point of departure for a form of discourse analysis that combines concepts from both Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Post-structuralist Discourse Theory (PDT). 

This alignment of theory, methodology and empiric material enables me to produce three main areas of findings. First, by illustrating how globalization is framed in the regional governance documents as intertwined with notions of competition, growth and competitiveness I am able to demonstrate how this discursively legitimizes and fosters a certain range of practices. A particularly salient finding is how the documents contain articulations of a perspective of globalization that renders the phenomenon as more or less a natural force that is unavoidable and unchangeable. Second, in terms of relational space the discursive legitimization also contributes to the production of globalization in other forms of space, hence reinforcing general neo-liberal traits of the phenomenon that extends to regions, nations and continents around the world. Third, the paper also shows how the methodological framework that is used proved particularly fruitful in this case. Therefore, some time is spent reflecting on the possible benefits of combining CDA, PDT and governmentality and I argue that such multi-perspectival approaches are needed to illustrate the complex relay system of practices that produces globalization and regional governance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Regional Studies Association , 2014. 103- p.
Keyword [en]
Governmentality, Globalization, Regions, Discourse Analysis, Assemblage
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Human Geography; Political Science; Sociology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-34583ISBN: 978-1-897721-47-6 (print)OAI: diva2:762552
Regional Studies Association Annual European Conference, Izmir, Turkey, June 2014, 'Diverse Regions: Building Resilient Communities and Territories
Available from: 2014-11-12 Created: 2014-11-12 Last updated: 2014-11-13Bibliographically approved

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