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Prolifération des territoires et représentations territoriales de l’Union européenne

Abstract : Representing Territories (Sessions 2 and 9): * The proliferation of territories. Efficacy of territorial engineering versus political legitimacy. Co-facilitators: Sylvia CALMES-BRUNET (CUREJ) & Yann RICHARD (PRODIG) After having envisaged an end to territories, social scientists (lawyers, geographers, political scientists...) are now observing a proliferation of territories, at every scale (particularly local) and every level (from intranational to international). This proliferation has resulted in a blurring of boundaries that undermines the legitimacy of these territories, which appear more as scales of action (political or otherwise) or strategic frameworks than as constructs resulting from long-term social processes, based on democratic, institutional, and normative mechanisms. The multiplication of territories combined with their permanent reconfiguration prevents their appropriation by the populations concerned, because power is given more to space than to citizens or other stakeholders. This trend in the organisation of political space raises questions on important issues such as the level of democracy, the construction of collective identity, and growing inequalities. It seems ultimately that the territorialisation of human societies does not permit the legitimization of their political representatives. Nor does it permit the construction of identities based on collective experience. In these circumstances, many territories cannot become objects of representation or identity referents. In the light of such developments, several hypotheses may be put forward that will be examined in the proposed session: (i) The proliferation of territories contributes to the decreasing legitimacy of territorial frameworks. Paradoxically, it undermines their political effectiveness; (ii) This lack of legitimacy ironically paves the way for more political centralization; (iii) ‘De-proliferation’ does not enable the re-legitimization of territories. * Territoriality and the European Union. Representing territories within the EU Co-facilitators: Lydia LEBON (IRENEE) & Sylvia CALMES-BRUNET (CUREJ) Representation can be defined as the visual model of something or as the idea of standing in for someone. In law, representation is polysemous. Representation in the context of the European Union is an ambitious study because of the interdisciplinary framework. Several research topics could be considered. First and foremost, the study can be the institutional and material representation of territories: the institutional aspects might be about the representative organs of territories, while the material aspect would be that of the development of tools to assess the territorial impacts of EU legislation. Analysis might also focus on the perception of territory from a sociological point of view: it can be a negative or positive perception. For example, the migration situation in Europe conveyed a negative perception. Nevertheless, careful planning of migrant settlement could help to revive fragile territories. Another aspect might focus on the conceptual perception of territory, especially within a cross-border construction (for instance, the digital territory). Finally, one cannot forget the effects of the territorial reorganization that the EU is about to experience with Brexit: there is undoubtedly a need to reflect on changing relations within this territory following its reorganisation.
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Contributor : Sylvia Brunet <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - 7:12:02 PM
Last modification on : Friday, February 5, 2021 - 3:38:13 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-02403434, version 1


Sylvia Brunet, Lydia Lebon, Yann Richard. Prolifération des territoires et représentations territoriales de l’Union européenne. Représenter les territoires / Representing Territories, Mar 2018, Rouen, France. PURH (Les Dossiers des Annales de Droit), pp.274, 2019, 979-10-240-1322-0. ⟨hal-02403434⟩



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