Rune Dahl Fitjar

Professor of Innovation Studies
UiS Business School
Centre for Innovation Research
University of Stavanger
N-4036 Stavanger

Tel.: (+47) 51 83 15 62

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The Rise of Regionalism

Causes of Regional Mobilization in Western Europe

London and New York: Routledge, 2009

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During the past 40 years, regions have become increasingly important in Western Europe both as units of government and as sources for political mobilization.

This book examines why regional identities are stronger in some regions than in others, and why regional elites attempt to mobilize the public on a regionalist agenda at certain points in time. The author develops a model that explains change across space as well as time and provides a comprehensive discussion of the causes of regionalism. It focuses on endogenous developments in the regions and on change across time in the economic and political landscapes of the regions. Using a quantitative study of 212 Western European regions, which examine whether regionalism is related to cultural, economic and political characteristics of the regions, the book builds a model of the causes of regionalism. The issues are further explored through case studies on Scotland (UK) and Rogaland (Norway).

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of political and social sciences, especially those with an interest in regions, regionalism and regional nationalism, Scottish politics, Norwegian politics, territorial identities and territorial politics.

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In English

Emanuele Massetti, West European Politics, 34 (6): 1321-1322

"What are the causes of regionalism? Why is regionalism stronger in certain regions than in others? Why is regionalism stronger in certain periods than in others? This new book by Rune Dahl Fitjar, though not providing definitive answers to all these questions, constitutes a remarkable step in that direction. [...] This book represents a compelling reading not only for scholars of regionalism, but will also be of interest to all those working on Western European politics."

Philipp Studinger, Regional and Federal Studies, 21 (4-5): 569-571

"Whereas much of [the] literature is concerned with regionalization [...], the phenomenon itself rarely serves as dependent variable. With his book, the author contributes to filling in this existing gap and develops a theoretical model that can explain different levels of regionalism. [...] The book provides a valuable contribution for researchers interested in regionalism."

Ali Onur Ozcelik, Political Studies Review, 9 (3): 410-411

"All in all, this book is both theoretically and empirically well informed and a good source of reference for those who are interested in regionalism, federalism and comparative regionalism."


In Norwegian

Audio file from book presentation at the University of Stavanger Library, 9 March 2010 - with comments by Tom Hetland

Tom Hetland: "Det er vår olje", Stavanger Aftenblad, 12 March 2010

"Rune Dahl Fitjar er ikkje snauare enn at han samanliknar utviklinga av regionalismen i Skottland og Rogaland."

Elin Schanche, Greater Stavanger: Den regionale sandkassen, Rosenkilden no. 8, 2010

"Fitjar viser til at Norge er mindre regionalisert enn andre land i Europa. [...] Som i Europa er oppmerksomheten om regionene også her hos oss, mye større enn før."