I am convening an organised session on Environmental Regionalism at the Regional Studies Association Annual International Conference which will be hosted by Trinity College Dublin in June 2017. Please contact me directly if you are interested in participating in this session: cormac.walsh[at]uni-hamburg.de
Regional approaches to environmental governance are coming to fore as limits to global, sectoral perspectives become increasingly evident. Such spaces of environmental governance are emerging at multiple scales from the local to the transnational and vary substantially with regard to their degree of institutionalisation. They, nevertheless, have in common, the objective of producing governance spatialities beyond the territorial boundaries of the nation-state. In practice transboundary environmental regions constitute complex multiscalar institutional arenas involving the negotiation of territorial and functional, soft and hard constructions of space. Their boundaries may be understood as the product of political negotiation and the socio-spatial construction of environmental problems at particular scales. Their analysis requires perspectives that go beyond existing simplistic and reductionist perspectives concerning the degree of spatial fit or scalar match between institutional and socio-ecological systems or the rescaling of governance to environmental boundaries. This session seeks to explore the politics of environmental regionalism from diverse critical and interdisciplinary perspectives.
Possible topics of interest for this special session include the following:
- Processes of institutionalistion relating to coastal, marine, mountain and/other forms of environmental regionalism
- Critical analysis of environmental boundary-making and associated processes of exclusion and inclusion
- National parks and transboundary protected areas as environmental regions?
- Tensions between co-existing environmental and economic and/or cultural regionalisms
- Environmental regionalism, spatial planning and the environmental dimension of territorial cohesion
- The institutional construction of landscape and processes of regionalisation
Please submit proposals for papers in the form of a 250 word abstract (text only) through the Regional Studies Association conference portal by Friday 24th February 2017. Proposals will be considered by the Conference Programme Committee against the criteria of originality, interest and subject balance.