Cross-border metropolitan governance in Europe: a network analysis approach


CALL: 2009

DOMAIN: SR - Spatial and Urban Development

FIRST NAME: Christophe





KEYWORDS: Geography

START: 2010-01-01

END: 2012-12-31


Submitted Abstract

The main objective of this project is to analyse the process of building cross-bordermetropolitan regions (CBMR) in Europe. More specifically, the project examines the meaning ofpolicy networks dedicated to strategic planning and territorial promotion and evaluates theircapacity to promote cross-border governance regimes. To achieve this objective, we argue fora relational approach to the construction of cross-border metropolitan areas, in order not toembed the analysis in a predefined territorial configuration or geographic scale.Research questionsThree main questions are addressed. The first question investigates who are the actorsinvolved in the policy networks and what their relations are. Analysing the configuration of thenetworks requires both the identification of the role played by the actors and the evaluation ofthe nature of their relationships. The objective is to know which actors play a central role instrategic planning and territorial promotion and what are the determinants that structure theirpower relations.The second objective is to examine to what extent spatial features and geographical distancehave an effect on the structural properties of the policy networks. How are policy networksrelated to spatial proximity? Does a polycentric urban structure favour cooperation and morebalanced networks? To what extent is the presence of a state border affecting the forms of thenetworks and the role of actors? This section addresses these questions by looking at thespatial arrangements of political linkages.The last question investigates to what extent the structure of networks explains differences inpolicy outcomes. The purpose is to assess the capacity of policy networks to bring a sharedvision of spatial development and to implement it through concrete projects. Do the networksand the cooperation they entail have the ability to coordinate different interests, different typesof actors and different territorial scales?MethodologyThe analytical framework developed in MetroNet is based on the comparative analysis of policynetworks. Applying this concept to the specific case of CBMR is a major challenge and aneglected area of study. It is clearly necessary to look beyond established methodologies tocapture the observed governance structure and changes. In that view, this project combinesboth quantitative and qualitative approaches. Social network analysis provides a theoretical andmethodological framework allowing a decoupling of the fluid and intertwined relations betweena multiplicity of actors and highlights the forms of governance that are put in place.Case studiesFour case studies are selected: Luxembourg, Basel, Lille and Vienna-Bratislava. In all fourcases, cross-border cooperation is on the agenda but at different stages. Rather than ageneralisation on the European scale, these case studies will contribute to a betterunderstanding of the interactions between national borders and metropolitan centres in Europe.Expected resultsOn a scientific level, the project aims to better understand how policy networks regulate thespatial construction of cross-border metropolitan areas. The wider objective is to illuminateaspects that are still largely unknown, particularly regarding the interactions between networksof actors and the effects of state borders.

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