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The Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation$
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Wolfgang Merkel, Raj Kollmorgen, and Hans-Jürgen Wagener

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198829911

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198829911.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 June 2021

Regional Disparities

Regional Disparities

(p.623) Chapter 70 Regional Disparities
The Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation

Hans-Joachim Bürkner

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a stocktaking of the conceptualization of the spatial dimension of postcommunist social change. It traces the shifts in academic concepts which sought to grasp the effects of transition on the regional level and the diversification of regional trajectories. It identifies three distinct stages of transition research which represents such shifts. An initial phase of nation state-centred accounts of regional transition was followed by a period which highlighted the diversification of patterns of regional disparities, focusing on regional capitals and border regions, and establishing globalization as an important factor of new core–periphery relations and interregional competition. A final post-transition stage has been described as being dominated by socio-spatial polarization and the increasing vulnerability of regions in the face of neoliberal policies and recurring global economic crises. Formerly clear-cut concepts relating inequality to the legacies of earlier stages of transition have gradually vanished, leaving a theoretical gap.

Keywords:   regional disparities, conceptual shifts, globalization, legacies of transition, global crises, polarization

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