On the relation between the economic space and the territoriality and form of political regulation. A comparative analysis of European Union/Austria/Vienna and Mercado Común del Sur/Uruguay/Montevideo

    Project Details


    Economic restructuring and local governance in Europe and Latin-America

    The process of regional integration, the erosion of the nation-state and the repositioning of cities are aspects of a phase of economic and social transformations, which are not confined to Europe, but happen on a global scale, and in particular in Latin-America. New forms of cooperation between the state and the private sector result in new problems, but also potentially widening rooms for manouvre.

    This marks the context for a two year research project funded by the Austrian Science Fund, which investigates changing forms of local governance in the cities of Vienna and Montevideo. By choosing two cities with certain structural similarities, but also marked differences, it was aimed at examining in a comparative way, how macro-regional processes of economic restructuring condition local development paths, and, furthermore, how rooms for urban politics are thus fostered or hampened. Interim results of the project indicated, that in contradiction to the world-city-hypothesis, for cities of regional importance the form of integration into the regional and national division of labour as well as regional economic dynamics continued to be essential factors of local development. Rooms for maneouvre remain however rather circumscribed, in particular by fiscal dependence from higher political levels.

    In a third year of research, work will be continued by analysing two additional urban areas, Munich and Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul/Brazil). The latter are metropoles in geographically neighboring regions to Vienna and Montevideo. They hold close economic ties with the latter, but exhibit a far higher economic dynamics. The central research question thus asks for the implications of distinct economic dynamics on local governance in Munich and Porto Alegre, and how urban politics in evidently less favoured regional contexts could benefit from these cases.

    Financing body

    Austrian Science Fund
    Effective start/end date1/07/9830/09/01

    Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (OEFOS)

    • 509
    • 509003 Development cooperation
    • 507017 Social geography
    • 502027 Political economy
    • 506004 European integration
    • 507016 Regional economy
    • 507011 Spatial research
    • 507