Wednesday, September 1, 2010

August's interesting links

This month I am going to start posting links to interesting material that I see (but obviously haven't necessarily read) that month.

  • T Niedomysl, H K Hansen. What matters more for the decision to move: jobs versus amenities Environment and Planning A 2010, volume 42, pages 1636 - 1649
Highly skilled workers are increasingly recognised as a key competitive asset for regional development, and claims have been made that emphasise the importance of certain amenities for the prospects of attracting this particular group of workers. We use a recent large-scale survey to investigate the relative importance of jobs versus amenities for the decision to migrate, as perceived by the migrants themselves. The paper thereby adds important insights to the existing literature that has hitherto mainly focused on analysing the extent to which aggregate migration flows correlate with employment-related or amenity-related factors. The results show that jobs are considerably more important for the decision to move among highly educated migrants compared with migrants with lower education.

  • D L Prytherch `Vertebrating' the region as networked space of flows: learning from the spatial grammar of Catalanist territoriality' Environment and Planning A 2010, volume 42, pages 1537 - 1554
For decades theoretical debates about political restructuring have resorted to and co-constructed geographical concepts of territory and scale, interpreting `new' and `Euro' regionalisms as processes of reterritorialization and rescaling (and the politics thereof ). But nested and hierarchical theories of scale have been severely critiqued, and bounded notions of territory opened to question. How then to develop a more relational understanding of the region without trading one limiting theoretical master narrative for another? Drawing inspiration from recent attempts to do just this, in this paper I ask: what can we learn about the complex and relational spatiality of the region, and thus scale and territory, through the spatial vocabularies of regionalists themselves? Using the case study of the Northwestern Mediterranean, I explore the imaginaries and stratagems of Catalan regionalism and transboundary macroregionalism, particularly in the neighboring regions of Catalunya and the Comunitat Valenciana and their proposed integration in a Euroregion called the Arc Mediterrani. While Catalanists increasingly emphasize networked economic relationships and flows, they do so within a structured, territorial, and in many ways bounded understanding of Mediterranean spatial relations. How Catalanists vertebrar territori (articulate or structurate territory, in Catalan) offers an alternative spatial grammar for thinking about how various spatialitiesöincluding network and geographical scaleöare distinct yet co-implicated in the social production of regional and macroregional territory.

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