The Power of Maps. The Region as a Societal Vision in the Age of the Öresund Bridge

Detta är en avhandling från Nordic Academic Press, Box 1206, SE-221 05 Lund, Sweden

Sammanfattning: The dissertation seeks to problematize the public debate which in recent years has made many people interested in and committed to the region. The empirical basis of the study is some of the regions of southern Sweden which have served as an important platform in the last thirty or forty years when the political and economic establishment has acted and argued in various contexts. The fundamental question is what a region may be said to be from a broad societal and constructivist perspective. How are regions established and mobilized at the intersection between different societal interests and different definitions of reality? In the dynamic constellation of territorialization and conceptualization, on which every region is dependent for its establishment, maps are assumed to be the connecting link. This cartographic creation of regions is understood with the aid of Henri Lefebvre's analytical triad of spatial practices, representations of space, and representational spaces. Regarding this, spatial practices are linked to the ideas of Paul Virilio about the significance of technology and speed for the way that societies and civilizations arise and evolve. Representations of space and representational spaces are in turn associated with the views of power and resistance that Michel Foucault has formulated on the basis of what panoptism and heterotopian and utopian arenas imply. Altogether, the cartographic creation of regions is viewed as a normative system consisting of five equal but in principle different components: speed, aesthetics, taste, ethics, and morals. As the synthesis of this normative structure, the political aspect has to do with the fact that people consciously - that is, cartographically - emphasize regions rather than, without reflection, live their lives according to them.

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