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The Area-wide Economic Regions in Korea: Orthodox New Regionalism or Politically-inflicted Regionalism?  

Cho, Cheol-Joo (Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, Cheongju University)
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World Technopolis Review / v.1, no.4, 2013 , pp. 240-255 More about this Journal
The recent interest in regions represents a rise of the new regionalism. Three competing theories provide the frameworks of explaining the ascendance of regions as the meaningful vessel of territorial economic and political processes. They are the orthodox new regionalism, the new politics of scale, and the relational topology of networked actors. Referring to these theories, this paper assesses the establishment of cross-provincial Area-wide Economic Regions (AERs) in Korea. The findings indicate that AERs represent a radical shift to a new regionalism. However, it is misconceived to see their ascendance as the orthodox new regionalism, as they marginally fit the hollowing-out of the state thesis. Nor they show distinct features to which the politically-inflicted regionalism is attributed. In consequence, AERs represent the emergence of a new regionalism that is consequent of the unique politico-economic context of Korea, say, a most centralized state-society combined with the neoliberalizing policy process emanating from the globalization pressures.
New regionalism; Hollowing-out; New politics of scale; Relational topology; Regional policy; Area-wide Economic Region; Korea;
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