Building Bridges: Cities and Regions in a Transnational World
3rd - 6th April, Karl-Franzen- University, Graz, Austria
Throughout history, cities and regions have been cornerstones of economic, social and cultural institution building and centres of communication and trade across borders of empires and nations. In a globalised world dominated by multi-level governance and declining economic and political significance of the nation-state, cities and regions are becoming ever more so important in building bridges across nations, supra-national unions, and even continents.
These challenges surpass the usual aspects of integration: it is not sufficient to reduce barriers for the mobility of labour, goods, services and capital, to create a homogenous competitive environment, and a solid monetary system. What is needed in addition are more elements of a new regionalism, which is based on non-hierarchical relationships, on self-government, and on the creation of flexible alliances leading to interregional transnational cooperation. The development of a region is affected by its competitive and complementary relationships with other increasingly distant regions.