Vie scientifique | Journées d'études


State Restructuring and Rescaling in Comparative Perspective

3 et 4 décembre 2012



An important feature of the modern state system during the past few decades is the rise of the sub-national state. In contrast to the earlier period when the national economy was the main unit of development, sub-national territorial units have increasingly become the source of growth, competition, and political contention in a changing global order. The national state is under pressure to re-articulate and re-territorialize in relation to both sub- and supra-national scales. Its institutional, regulatory, and spatial configurations are restructured to adapt to the demands of transnational investments and operations. Some local states have actively engaged in sub-national diplomacy as well as developmental intervention, the aim of which is to turn their regions into place-specific coordinates of global production/investment complexes.

This sets off a highly contentious process. First of all, it involves a redistribution of state power between the national administration and various levels of local authorities. Second, it brings about severe competition between sub-national regions when they all aspire to become an epic centre for growth. Third, it forges new alliances between local authorities, domestic producers, and international investors in numerous forms, and subverts the conventional categories of public-private, domestic-foreign, and national-local divisions. Finally, it encourages the establishment of informal relations between sub-national states across countries. During this contentious process, the boundary of the political is redrawn, and the unit of political agency is redefined.

Objectives of the Workshop


The workshop seeks to analyze the modalities of state rescaling through a comparative study of representative country cases at various spatial scales. The comparative approach will allow us to reflect on the theoretical relevance of the notion of state rescaling in Asia and other emerging economies, in relation to advanced industrialized countries where it has been used to understand economic restructuring in the post-Fordist era. The workshop also aims to produce a special journal issue as a major scholarly output.

To arouse the interest of the academic and policy communities in the Netherlands and the surrounding regions, a seminar series on “Sub-national States and Trans-national Actors in a Globalising World” will be jointly organized by the IIAS Centre for Regulation and Governance and the Clingendael Institute. The seminar series will take place between September and December 2012. The present workshop will be the climax event in the series of activities.



The workshop will be jointly organized by the IIAS Centre for Regulation and Governance, the Netherlands and the Centre d’Etudes de l’Inde et de l'Asie du Sud, CNRS-EHESS, France. The co-convenors are Loraine Kennedy and Tak-Wing Ngo.  


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