I participate in two work packages of the “IMAJINE” Horizon 2020 project running between 2018 and 2021. “IMAJINE” stands for Integrative Mechanisms for Addressing Spatial Justice and Territorial Inequalities in Europe.

Work Package 7: Regionalist Movements and Social, Economic and Spatial Justice

Across Europe, regionalist movements claiming to represent historically, culturally, linguistically and/or economically distinct groups within the state’s territory challenge the stability and integrity of existing territorial structures of governance. In particular, regionalist parties have become enduring and influential players in regional and (in some cases) state-level political arenas. In many cases, they have been successful in achieving greater self-government for their sub-state territories. In some cases, they even question the territorial framework of the state altogether by demanding independence.

The key feature of regionalist mobilisation is the pursuit of some form of ‘sub-state territorial empowerment’ in the name of a specific territorial group within the state’s boundaries – be it referred to as a region, nation or people – which has a distinctive territorial identity and interests. WP7 analyses how regionalist actors justify their territorial claims. It aims to study (1) the factors that influence framing strategies of regionalist actors and (2) the electoral consequences of regionalist actors’ framing strategies.

In WP7, we analyze twelve regionalist movements’ demands and framing strategies in eight European states: Scotland and Wales (UK); Catalonia and Galicia (Spain); Corsica (France); Bavaria (Germany); Aosta Valley, Northern Italy and Sardinia (Italy); Friesland (Netherlands); the Kashubian minority/Kashubia (Poland); and the Hungarian minority/the Szeklerland (Romania). We conduct a computer assisted qualitative content analysis of regionalist parties’ and civil society organisations’ programmatic documents within the time period 1990-2018 and interviews with the leaders of these organisations.

The project partners of WP7 are: Aberystwyth University (UK), TU Dresden (DE), Polish Academy of Sciences (PL), Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (NL), Università degli Studi di Siena (IT) and Universität Basel (CH).

See an overview of WP7’s theoretical goals and methodological approach here.

Work Package 4: Experimental Survey on Solidarity and Territorial Cohesion

WP4 explores public attitudes towards regional autonomy, territorial cohesion, solidarity and mobility in seven EU member states. Surprisingly, although territorial inequalities and cohesion policies within both countries and the EU play a key role in policy agendas, scholars have paid little attention to mass attitudes on these issues. In this work package, we conduct an experimental survey providing original, cross-national data to produce valid causal inferences about the determinants of mass attitudes towards territorial cohesion. WP4 complements WP7 and other work packages by unravelling citizens’ perspectives and attitudes towards territorial cohesion, solidarity and spatial justice. The survey covers seven EU member states: France, Italy, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, and Spain.  

The project partners of WP4 are: Aberystwyth University (UK), TNS Opinion, Università degli Studi di Siena (IT), Università degli Studi ‘G. d’Annunzio’ Chieti-Pescara (IT) and Universität Basel (CH).

Find out more about IMAJINE here.