In a context where European integration is put into question, under the weight of external (migration, safety issues, economic) and centrifugal forces (Brexit, growing Euroscepticism), European spatial planning has been somewhat sidelined in the debates on the European Union’s goals, cohesion and future. This special issue aims to contribute to a deeper understanding of these dynamics by revisiting the history of European spatial planning – from its origins, gradual institutionalization to its current rolling back – by exploring it both at the European and the national level, stressing its difficulties and idiosyncrasies. The conceptual framework of historical institutionalism is used across the papers in an attempt to shed more light on this processes, through the analysis of critical junctures and path dependency of planning and cohesion agendas, transnational networks as well as changes to the national institutions and planning systems. This tightly woven collection of papers touches upon not only the underlying arguments for European cohesion, but also the questions about the future of European spatial planning as an ‘EU microcosm’ in light of current discussions concerning democratic credentials and legitimacy of the EU project as a whole.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalPlanning Perspectives: an international journal of history, planning and the environment
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Aug 2018

    Research areas

  • European spatial planning, European Union, historical institutionalism, institutionalization, place-based development, strategic planning, territorial cohesion

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