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In the Midst of the Global Sub-national: Rationalities, Technologies and Subjects In Swedish Regional Governance
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies.
2014 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The ’global’ is often articulated as a particular level of space situated at the highest tier of a hierarchical order that has its other extreme point in the local. In such models globalization becomes a process, or indeed a force, that shapes and reconfigures other levels of space such as the national. What is more, integrated with the conceptualization of the ‘global’ as a level of space is often a view of globalization as a phenomenon primarily constituted by a range of different flows of for instance immigrants, capital and information (Castells, 1999; Holton, 2005, Held & McGrew, 2007).

This paper departs from a different understanding as it investigates how globalization is (re)produced in a particular form of space. Here, space is understood to be relational (Massey, 1994; 2005), meaning that I do not consider the ‘global’ to be a level on its own, rather I theorize the global, like all other forms of spaces, as produced through a myriad of social practices and relations.

Given such an understanding of globalization an interesting development the last decades has been a resurgence of sub-national regions. In the literature this newfound focus on regions within national polities is often articulated as means for competitiveness (Säll, 2012; Keating, 2003). All around the world regions are engaged in a large number of practices that aims to foster competitiveness and growth in order to deal with the perceived challenges of globalization. Hence, so-called clusters, innovation systems and programs for variegated forms of creativity are now everyday features of sub-national regional governance (Florida, 2012; Porter, 1998).

Therefore, rather than studying national space, in this paper I show how sub-national regional governance is an important site for discursive production of globalization. Instead of focusing on how different flows affects individual regions, the priority here is on the regime of practice that is sub-national regional governance in a wider sense. Utilizing a governmentality approach (Miller & Rose, 2008; Dean, 2010) the paper investigates a corpus of documents pertaining to Swedish regional governance using a mixed set of techniques from Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Post-Structuralist Discourse Theory (PDT). The results highlight how the ‘global’ rationality is (re)produced in the Swedish case and how this together with a number of governmental technologies produces desired and undesired regional subjects.   

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Governmentality, Globalization, Regions, Discourse Analysis, Assemblage
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science; Sociology; Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-34602OAI: diva2:763443
Interpretive Policy Analysis (IPA) 9th International Conference, 'Governance and Beyond', Wageningen, Holland, 3-5 July 2014
Available from: 2014-11-14 Created: 2014-11-14 Last updated: 2014-12-09Bibliographically approved

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Öjehag-Pettersson, Andreas
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