Revisiting the concepts of scale and rescaling in relation to the EU macro-regional strategies

F. Sielker, Dominic Stead

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Seeking to contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the processes of rescaling in European macro-regional strategies, this paper aims to develop and test a conceptual framework to explain the underlying processes of rescaling. In an attempt to draw on the conceptual gateways in the main debates of scale and rescaling, we observe a mismatch with empirical observations on how
stakeholders construct scale. As a result of a structured literature review, and based on empirical observations in the Danube region, we suggest that the key to understanding rescaling processes is the conceptualization of scale as a construct, constantly contested through multiple dimensions. Drawing upon
recent developments within planning literature arguing for a co-existence between relational and territorial
spaces and our empirical information, the paper suggests a multidimensional conceptualization of scale of four dimensions: (i) regulatory/jurisdictional; (ii) funding/resources; (iii) knowledge/values and (iv) network.
We argue that scales consist of four co-existing dimensions which have impacts on social and economic relations as well as policy-making. Through the analysis of the Danube Region example the paper concludes that processes of rescaling often occur indirectly. We observe that case stakeholders make use of networks and knowledge at the macro-regional level in order to influence decisions in the funding and regulatory dimensions of the national and EU level.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings 30th Annual AESOP 2017 Congress
EditorsJ.A. Ferreira, J.M. Simões, S. Morgado
Place of PublicationLisboa
PublisherUniversidade de Lisboa
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-989-99801-3-6
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event30th Annual Aesop Congress 2017: Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity: Fostering the European Dimension of Planning - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 11 Jul 201714 Jul 2017


Conference30th Annual Aesop Congress 2017
Internet address


  • scale
  • terrotoriality
  • rescaling
  • EU macro-regions
  • Danube Region
  • transport
  • navigation


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