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Does competitiveness imply cohesion? And what about governance? Jan Vranken OASeS - University of Antwerpen COST A26 meeting in Vienna 12 & 13 November.

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Presentation on theme: "Does competitiveness imply cohesion? And what about governance? Jan Vranken OASeS - University of Antwerpen COST A26 meeting in Vienna 12 & 13 November."— Presentation transcript:

1 Does competitiveness imply cohesion? And what about governance? Jan Vranken OASeS - University of Antwerpen COST A26 meeting in Vienna 12 & 13 November 2004

2 Three central concepts Competitiveness (or competition?) Cohesion (or cohesiveness?) Multilevel governance (or governance? And what about urban governance? Or about City-Regions governance?)

3 Some preliminary questions Do we embark on this subject because both concepts are in the Lisbon declaration? The problematic is not recent. The welfare states as an answer to the tension between ‘the economic’ and ‘the social’, the market and the state. Social cohesion and other notions of this order are not concepts in a strict epistemological sense but tentative concepts (Thomas Maloutas )

4 Competitiveness: a political view Central to the Lisbon Strategy: an integrated strategy for competitiveness ‘Whereas it is undeniable that such adjustments can be onerous in local economies and in social terms, the resulting better resource allocation will improve national income and welfare’ The full operation of market forces (competitive pressure, the level of competition, an integrated market) is the core variable in this model, closely followed by innovative capacities.

5 Competitiveness 2 Non-economic or non-technological factors (education, work practices, consumer protection) are introduced to enhance competition and innovation. This is the ‘residual model’, compared to the ‘institutional’ model about the relation between the economic (competitiveness) and the social (cohesion).

6 Competitiveness 3 The important indicators refer to ‘overall’ dimensions (GNP): no attention for internal differences or oppositions (inequality, income distribution, spatial segmentation) First the economy and then correct what goes wrong through social policies (‘Erst kommt das Fressen und dann die Moral’?)

7 Competitiveness 4

8 Cohesion: political and/or sociological? Different definitions by political stakeholders –In EU, mostly territorial, in fact about inequality and redistribution among regions In need for a ‘scientific’ definition? –The question of social order –A cohesive social unit then is

9 Cohesion 1 A cohesive social unit then would be an organisation, group or city in which forces are active that are strong and lasting enough to hold that unit together. It renders that social unit into something ‘sustainable’ Social cohesion is needed to ensure the social reproduction (‘social sustainability’) of a neighbourhood, a city, or any other (urban) system

10 Social cohesion 2 The action of cementing does resuire building blocks and cement. Therefore a –relational dimension (social networks and “social capital”, which is largely dependent upon the existence of social networks) –and a cultural dimension (common value pattern) –integration of both dimensions: group identification.

11 Social cohesion 3 The relational dimension of social cohesion consists of a structured multiplicity of social links between individuals or their positions –Strong and weak links The cultural dimension: a set of shared values and norms would enable the members ‘to identify and support common aims and objectives, and share a common set of moral principles and codes of behaviour through which to conduct their relations with one another’. –Routines as mediators between values and everyday life –Routines as means for social control

12 Social cohesion 4 Third dimension: a feeling of belonging to or identification with a group (relational and cultural dimension) Internal forces (common frameworks) External forces (in/out-group) Cohesion may be –constraining –excluding –supportive

13 Including both concepts into a common framework? COMPETITION Is competition only possible within a minimum of cohesion? Indirect link: both competition and cohesion lead to forms of social exclusion & inclusion COHESION -top-down -bottom-up Society? Market?

14 Application to the City-Region C & C cohabitate in a concentrated way at the city level… –Does fragmentation threaten social cohesion? –Is identification with the city better than with neighbourhoods or communities? –Do people identify as individuals or as group members? What about among cities? What about between cities?

15 Urban governance - a simple definition A coordinated and organised approach implying Different actors (public, private) Different domains (‘departments’: health, housing, education, work) Different levels (Europe, nation-state, region, city- region, city) –-> why then multilevel governance?

16 Between government and governance ‘Government’ is rather‘Governance’ is rather Central actorPublicPublic, private and NGO Relations between agentsIndependentInterdependence (network) Resources‘Monopoly’Shared Relation with stateDependentRelatively autonomous Relations between domainsSeparate domains‘Inclusive’ Central levelStateLocal OrientationProcessResult Administrative type/cultureBureaucraticFlexible and responsive Relation with electorateDemocraticPost-democratic Decision-making processCentralised (top-down)Decentralised (bottom-up) OwnershipCollectivisedPrivatised ManagementMunicipalEntrepreneurial GoalsSocial/welfare goalsMarket goals

17 Is governance able to.. Manage the tensions between C & C? What conditions have to be fulfilled?

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