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anti_796 MSP No.

Dispatch: 8-6-2010 No. of pages: 30

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Thinking State/Space Incompossibly
Martin Jones
Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, and Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD), Aberystwyth University, UK;

Bob Jessop
Department of Sociology, Lancaster University, UK;
Abstract: This paper develops multi-dimensional analyses of socio-spatial relations. Building on previous research, we identify some tensions associated with different dimensions of sociospatiality and introduce the theme of compossible and, more importantly, incompossible sociospatial configurations. Two short studies are deployed to highlight the socio-spatial implications of the principle that not everything that is possible is compossible. The first shows the power of thinking varieties of capitalism compossibly (via the concept of variegated capitalism) and then examines the successive strategies adopted by the European Communities and European Union to address the significance of changing patterns of variegation for approaches to European integration, spatial strategies, and economic and social policies. The second case discusses some resulting problems for state spatial projects, starting in the 1980s with spatial planning, promotion of a Europe of the Regions and/or of Europe and the regions, and then turns to examine city-regional development strategies. Keywords: TPSN, compossibility, incompossibility, variegated capitalism, regions

This paper starts from recent attempts to develop a more complex and multi-dimensional analysis of socio-spatial relations based on scholarly recognition of their polymorphic nature (Jessop 2009a; Jessop, Brenner and Jones 2008; cf Brenner 2009; Leitner, Sheppard and Sziarto 2008; Sheppard 2002). It applies this approach to state space in general and to two short studies of the European Union and English regionalism in particular.1 The most general feature of the state as a political form (pre-modern as well as modern, pre-capitalist as well as capitalist) is its grounding in the territorialization of political power. Note that the territorial as a distinctive political form is not to be conflated with the terrestrial2 as a general substratum of this and other forms of sociospatial organization. How these other forms are related to territoriality as opposed to terrestriality is an interesting and important feature of socio-spatial configurations (see below). To address these issues, we will elaborate an earlier account of socio-spatiality, developed with Neil Brenner, by identifying some tensions associated with different
Antipode Vol. 00 No. 0 2010 ISSN 0066-4812, pp 1–30 doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8330.2010.00796.x C 2010 The Authors Journal compilation C 2010 Editorial Board of Antipode.


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dimensions of socio-spatiality and introducing the theme of compossible and, more importantly, incompossible socio-spatial configurations.3 We present this approach in three steps: a brief account of the state, an elaborated account of the territory-place-scale-network schema of sociospatiality, and two cases at different scales to indicate the geographical value-added of these concepts. A primary feature of states is the historically variable ensemble of technologies and practices that produce, naturalize, and manage part of terrestrial space as a relatively bounded container within which political power is exercised to achieve various, more or less well integrated, and changing policy objectives. This involves the intersection of politically organized coercive and symbolic power, a clearly demarcated core territory, and a fixable population on which political decisions may be made collectively binding (such as the exercise of law and order, and the collection of taxation and other sources of revenue). The range of policy objectives compossible (ie able to co-exist) with this political form is, as Weber (1948) noted for the modern state, very large and typically involves other types of socio-spatial organization too. The variability of the territorialization of political power is reinforced when we consider the inter-state system.4 This involves more than the Westphalian inter-state system, which evolved in phases from the seventeenth to twentieth centuries and is still far from exhausting the global political order. Other modes of territorializing political power have existed (eg chiefdoms, feudalism, empires, suzerainty, tributary relations), some co-exist with the Westphalian system (eg city-states, warlordism, despotic rule, informal empires); new expressions are emerging (eg the European Union, which has been interpreted as a rescaled “national” state, a revival of medieval political patterns, a post-sovereign form of authority, or a new type of empire); and yet others can be imagined (eg a world state or global governance oriented to perpetual peace). Non-territorialized space can be seen as terra nullius (ie terrestrial space that, populated or not, exists outside the formal control of a state). The absence of territorial control does not exclude, of course, other socio-spatial patterns, such as stateless (or non-territorialized) polities or nomadic communities, linkages between places and/or scales, or rhizomatic networks. Noting this variation raises questions about (com)possible articulations among forms of territorialization, the adjudication of claims over terra nullius broadly conceived, and the ability of some states to exert extra-territorial rights, ie to claim immunity from the sovereign jurisdiction of other states and/or the right to impose their domestic law on residents, organizations, or other entities in territory formally controlled by another state.
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Thinking State/Space Incompossibly


Introducing Compossibility and Incompossibility
For this issue of Antipode, we aim to capture some of these complexities by drawing out some socio-spatial implications of the principle that not everything that is possible is compossible. This principle was introduced for other purposes in natural theology and later deployed in process metaphysics (see Rescher 1975, 1998) but we will integrate it into the critical realist approach deployed elsewhere in our discussions of socio-spatiality (Brenner et al 2003; Jessop, Brenner and Jones 2008). Critical realism distinguishes the real, the actual, and the empirical.5 In these terms research on compossibility goes beyond what is possible by virtue of real causal mechanisms and tendencies considered individually to focus on what is compossible at the level of the actual as diverse causal mechanisms and tendencies interact in a given socio-spatial field. More importantly, it invites questions about what is incompossible by virtue of such causal interaction. In complex fields where multi-causality and equifinality operate, the number and range of incompossible combinations commonly far exceed compossible ones. This may result from the operation of counter-tendencies for an otherwise possible event or chain of events, but the more interesting cases concern real opposition, antagonism or contradiction among events that are possible when seen in isolation but incompossible when taken together. This argument has major ontological and epistemological implications. Its ontological significance is captured, of course, in the basic proposition that not everything that is possible is compossible. This is one way to define the relative structuration of a given social field in its wider context, ie the higher the ratio of incompossible to compossible combinations, the more the structuration (cf Massey 1995, 2005). More generally, while this proposition could be read in purely logical terms, it is more fruitful to explore (in)compossibility in terms of the contingently necessary variation, selection, retention, and institutionalization of given socio-spatial configurations over space–time. Epistemologically, this proposition implies that certain socio-spatial relations that are feasible (or, alternatively, infeasible) when considered without regard to their articulation with other such relations within a given spatio-temporal field may prove infeasible (or, alternatively, feasible) when viewed in their articulation with different sets of relations. Thus our analytical grasp of possibility and impossibility, compossibility and incompossibility will shift as research proceeds and becomes more concrete and complex. Taken together these remarks suggest that, in examining compossibility in terms of the real, the actual, and empirical, attention must shift from elements to moments, from events to ensembles, and a fortiori, from flat ontologies to depth ontologies.
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opposed. in distinguishing elements and moments. individuality. . they can be seen as moments when combined with other elements to produce sedimented blocs. • Compossibility involves more than fleeting co-existence due to chance variation: it depends on the actual scope for co-selection. For the actualization of specific socio-spatial possibilities depends on interaction among different elements of co-evolving socio-spatial configurations. we argue for analyses of the contingent articulation of relata in specific.2u Standard LaTeX document class) 8-6-2010 :494 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 4 Antipode • The critical realist distinction between real and actual already implies that what is possible at the level of real mechanisms may not be actualized when several real mechanisms are activated. co-institutionalization based on the structural coupling of compossible processes and their social supports. further. and potentially asymmetric. we are interested not only in the “state effect” but also the effectivity of the state as a focal point of territorialized political power. First. Three further features of this approach as we would like to see it developed can be identified at this point. In the case of the state. etc (see Dodgshon 2008).anti_796 antixml-als.cls (1994/07/13 v1. and tensions at the level of the real and the actual. For the same reason we emphasize mechanisms and tendencies rather than base our arguments on the (inter)playfulness of metaphors (cf Sheppard 2008:2604. or contradictory socio-spatial processes connected to one or more other socio-spatial dimension. citing Gregory 2000:172–173). place. Thus we introduce some basic tensions involved in socio-spatial organization and explore their implications for the dialectics of territory. and later.7 Second. for example. Woodward and Marston 2007). we aim to avoid the problems of origins insofar as what matters for our purposes is the condensation of elements into the moments of a specific socio-spatial C 2010 The Authors Journal compilation C 2010 Editorial Board of Antipode. and “flat ontologies” (Jones III. This requires a shift from individual events to emergent ensembles that have a relative coherence that can be reproduced for significant periods. This brings our approach close to process philosophy. ensembles that have distinctive emergent properties and causal powers.6 Thus. This invites us to consider possible “worlds” within a specific socio-spatial field. • This requires careful theorization and study of stratified compossibilities and. • While individual elements are possible insofar as they exist or have existed. scale and network. not every element is compossible with all other elements. dilemmas. given our critical realist framework. whereas elements can be regarded as pre-given materials (albeit typically pre-interpreted and socially constituted). of the dynamics initiated by potentially incompatible. Thus. in contrast to singularity. we highlight the significance of contradictions. then co-retention. ensembles.

they also have close theoretical and empirical connections. the incompleteness of all attempts at totalization and hence the practical impossibility of fully formed totalities. Raco 2003. Brenner and Jones 2008). Jones and Jones 2005. and. Etherington u and Jones 2009. They are concerned with territory. and their repercussions within the state system. we stress. strategic dilemmas. B¨ chs 2009. Rose and Miller 2008). This role is inherently spatial. These protocols can be applied to. scalar. and always provisional.anti_796 antixml-als. zones of stability and instability. selection. This includes a shift from government to governance. Jessop 2002) for the state in Atlantic Fordism and its crisis and we will not repeat these arguments here.2u Standard LaTeX document class) 8-6-2010 :494 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 Thinking State/Space Incompossibly 5 configuration and the subsequent re-articulation of that configuration. MacLeod and Jones 2007. Analyses of what follows the Keynesian welfare national state have been equally productive. Woodward and Marston 2007. do not study individual states but explore how their forms and functions shape compossible interstate systems. These changes can be explored productively. highlighting various tendencies that affect the territorial. Cairney and Hepburn 2009. and an associated shift from government to meta-governance (see below). as we show below. retention. etc. with a dynamic concept of (in)compossibility that is concerned with variation.cls (1994/07/13 v1. place-related. and networks (see below). And. and institutionalization. do not assume the homogeneity and fixity of states but examine the scope for polymorphy and flexibility. and networked dimensions of the state (compare Allen and Cochrane 2007. the role of states in securing spatio-temporal fixes (Jessop 2006). On the Limits of Possibilist Socio-Spatial Analysis Informed by recent trends in the socio-spatial restructuring of states and as argued elsewhere (Jessop. among other issues. place. This requires attention to coherence and incoherence. . four main spatial turns have occurred during the last 30 years and. scale. as these new arrangements involve diverse social partners and stretch beyond formal state structures. Goodwin. This has been discussed elsewhere (Brenner 2004. For states contribute to the relative stabilization of society by managing economic and social contradictions. Pike and Tomaney 2009) and the changing importance of the state qua territorialized political power relative to other modes of governing conduct (eg Jones. on various grounds. Keating. C 2010 The Authors Journal compilation C 2010 Editorial Board of Antipode. deferrals and displacements. Taking compossibility seriously suggests three protocols for analyzing states: do not analyze states purely in territorial terms— forms of territorialization of state power depend on compossible multidimensional socio-spatial matrices. where possible. third. and involves not merely state intervention in territorial terms but also in regard to place. while each turn highlights different themes.

The critical realist distinction between ontology and epistemology is helpful here. and. on this basis. spatiotemporal. whether due to conceptual imprecision. here we simply note that these debates tended to focus successively on fine-tuning concepts relevant to the privileged dimension of socio-spatiality and/or on deploying one or other turn over-enthusiastically in empirical analysis. especially in more theoretical work. place. explore how these ensembles (or particular elements within them) interact in particular conjunctures to reconfigure socio-spatial relations in ways that sometimes lead to compossible outcomes and on other occasions to problems generated by incompossibility (cf Jones 2009a). This is apparent in all four turns. one should not confuse the range of possibilities posited at this step in the analysis for what is compossible when additional dimensions are introduced (cf Jessop 2007a.cls (1994/07/13 v1. Referring readers to Jessop. These strategic-relational insights can be advanced by: including all four structuring principles and associated strategies and practices and. Two commentaries have noted some of this regarding our recent work C 2010 The Authors Journal compilation C 2010 Editorial Board of Antipode. and some of its central categories— such as strategic selectivity. an overly narrow analytical focus. state strategies and hegemonic projects—have in turn been spatialized (Brenner 2004. and examining the compossibility and/or incompossibility of particular sets of spatio-temporal fixes and the respective substantive relations that are being fixed. Brenner and Jones (2008). 2009b). additionally. . During the last decade. for us. taking account of relevant second-order concepts (see below). strategically selective. Indeed. For. Jessop 2007a). discursive-material ensembles. dilemmatic. state projects. accumulation strategies.anti_796 antixml-als. Conversely what seems impossible on one socio-spatial dimension may prove possible when conjunctural “contamination” from other dimensions is removed. investigating their implications for specific spatio-temporal fixes or other types of TPSN configuration. or the embrace of an untenable ontological (quasi-)reductionism (cf Jessop 2009a). Each lends itself to the metonymic conflation of a part (territory. albeit unevenly and in diverse forms. possibility does not entail compossibility. and network respectively and have typically been generated by concerns to interpret and explain major changes in socio-spatial organization in the postwar world. this approach has been applied to various forms of socio-spatial restructuring. One could thereby study socio-spatiality as a heterogeneous series of contradictory. while examining a single dimension of socio-spatiality may well be justified as a simple entry point into a complex research field. scale or networks) with the whole (the totality of sociospatial organization). In contrast.2u Standard LaTeX document class) 8-6-2010 :494 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 6 Antipode scale. the scope for variation in socio-spatial forms is maximized in such one-dimensionalist work because it ignores the constraints on the actualization of any given dimension that arise from its articulation with other dimensions in any given socio-spatial configuration.

the fourth column introduces a new element into the discussion. this column identifies sites of tension and dilemmatic terrains that introduce: a dynamic element in the study C 2010 The Authors Journal compilation C 2010 Editorial Board of Antipode. their implications for changing forms of statehood. has been termed the TPSN framework (Jessop. parcellization. Paasi 2008) but have neglected the scope for a more dialectical analysis of socio-spatial path-dependency and path-shaping and. serve mainly definitional and pedagogic purposes.2u Standard LaTeX document class) 8-6-2010 :494 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 Thinking State/Space Incompossibly Table 1: Revisiting sociospatial relations Dimension of socio-spatial relations Territory Principle of socio-Spatial structuration Associated configurations of socio-spatial relations 7 Socio-spatial tensions and dilemmas Bordered vs cross-border relations (eg “hermit state” vs “free state”) Container vs connector (eg particularism vs cosmopolitanism) Place Scale Networks/ reticulation Bordering. Construction of bounding. While the first three columns in the table. differentiation differ-entiation of social relations horizontally among “core” vs “peripheral” places Hierarchization. “nodal” and “marginal” scales Interconnectivity. Construction of scalar vertical divisions of labor. inside/outside divides. due to its focus on territory (T). Brenner and Jones (2008:393). areal divisions of labor. especially. .anti_796 antixml-als. Constitutive role of enclosure outside Proximity. identifies basic tensions associated with each. Building networks of interdependence. Specifically. scale (S) and networks (N).cls (1994/07/13 v1. spatial Construction of spatial embedding. most importantly. A Compossibilist Revision of the TPSN Framework Our response to these challenges is a further development in the heuristic perspective that. and. Brenner and Jones (2008). transversal or differentiation of social “rhizomatic” relations among nodal differentiation points within topological networks Single scale vs multi-scalarity (eg unitary city-state vs multi-scalar meta-governance regime) Enclosed network vs networks of networks (eg “functional region” or “formal region” vs “unbounded region” or “virtual region”) Source: modified from Jessop. differentiation differentiation of social relations vertically among “dominant”. Table 1 presents these structural principles. reproduced from Jessop. specifies their consequences for the patterning of those relations. Brenner and Jones 2008). (Mayer 2008. nodal connectivity. place (P).

an entry point for analyzing compossibility and incompossibility in strategic-relational. however. Ontological complexity thereby disappears from the research horizon. and network centrism (Jessop.2u Standard LaTeX document class) 8-6-2010 :494 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 8 Antipode of socio-spatiality. Brenner and Jones 2008). the analysis will neglect the limits on possible forms of territorial organization rooted in other dimensions of socio-spatial analysis (or other structuring principles). . When the latter remains isolated as research continues. epistemologically. Thomsen and Torfing 1991:122–141. Such inquiries would facilitate studies of spatial complexity based on: the elaboration of sufficiently rich concepts for each dimension of socio-spatial relations and their typical forms of tension and dilemmas. for example. the development of more complex categories reflecting types of (dis)articulation and (in)compatibility among them. interpretation. if offers an abstract-simple entry point into more concrete-complex socio-spatial analysis.cls (1994/07/13 v1. see Bertramsen. essentialism. and their deployment in ways that permit observers to explore more precisely their weighting and articulation in a given spatio-temporal context. or fetishism. The problems of one-dimensional possibilism can be avoided through more systematic investigations of the interconnections among the four spatial dimensions of social relations—that is. a means of undertaking periodization and more robust comparative analysis within and across TPSN configurations. C 2010 The Authors Journal compilation C 2010 Editorial Board of Antipode. for example. Applying these general protocols to statehood. 2009b. It follows that focusing on one-dimensional possibilities is especially inappropriate for phenomena as complex as the state or inter-state system. it stays rigidly within the theoretical horizon of the privileged entry point. the effective introduction of agency as a crucial factor and force in socio-spatial dynamics and transformation. scholars could adopt different entry points whilst still ending with complex-concrete analyses in which each moment finds its proper descriptive-cum-explanatory weight (for some methodological foundations. scale. whether through conceptual inflation. Sayer 2000:86–96. Ontologically. the mutually constitutive relations among their respective structuring principles and the specific practices associated with each principle (cf Casey 2008). Jessop 2007a: 225–233. Similar arguments apply to place. When territorialization as a structuring principle is applied only to territory as the product of territorialization.anti_796 antixml-als. which involve all four first-order dimensions of spatiality as well as many second-order features (such as positionality or mobility. critical realist terms. this will result in one-dimensional (quasi-)reductionism in analysis. However concrete the analysis becomes. and a chance to bring strategic agency into analyses of socio-spatial transformation. and explanation. 108– 130). each dimension identifies a real socio-spatial structuring process principle and object of socio-spatial structuration and.

scale. Brenner and Jones (2008:396). we can develop a more complex understanding of the contradictions and dilemmas involved in second-order features too. This matrix shows that each spatial concept can be deployed in five ways. This shows that structuring principles do not just apply to themselves—a route to mutually isolated forms of one-dimensionalism—but affect other socio-spatial fields too. This extends Jessop. territory → network). shape and trajectories of compossible TPSN combinations—especially when account is taken of potential contradictions and dilemmas within and across first and n-th order dimensions—and the socio-spatial relations through which they are mediated. and territory are the only dimensions of socio-spatiality. place. Starting from the latter. which identifies only the first three applications. territory can be explored: • In itself as a product of (re)bordering strategies that operated on the existing terrestrial landscape (this involves reading the matrix diagonally. Q1 A Compossibilist Strategic-Relational Approach to Statehood To show the potential of this approach. indeed. To avoid misunderstanding.anti_796 antixml-als. see Jessop 2002). we do not claim that territory. Likewise. Table 2 cross-tabulates each socio-spatial dimension seen as a structuring principle with the other three dimensions viewed as fields of operation of that principle. There are certainly second and. are best defined in terms of the combination of first-order principles).cls (1994/07/13 v1.2u Standard LaTeX document class) 8-6-2010 :494 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 Thinking State/Space Incompossibly 9 which. n-th order emergent socio-spatial relational properties (mobility and positionality are second-order examples) and other first-order dimensions may exist. They are always articulated with other substantive natural and social relations and these constrain the form. produced and transformed (on other forms of contradiction from a political economy perspective. For example. Thus the potentially endless spiral movement from abstract-simple to concrete-complex analyses must consider the logic and dynamics of compossible TSPN combinations. territory → scale. C 2010 The Authors Journal compilation C 2010 Editorial Board of Antipode. hence territory←→ territory). hence: territory → place. first to n-th order configurations cannot exist8 apart from other features of the natural and social worlds. understood more complex concepts can be developed by examining how different structuring in terms of the dialectic of path dependency and path shaping in broader sets of spatio-temporal and discursive-material constraints. . • As a structuring principle (or causal mechanism) that impacts other already structured fields of socio-spatial relations that may be undergoing restructuring in other respects too (this involves reading the matrix horizontally. we will argue.

inter-state system Locales. likewise. present. . empires neo-medievalism Scalar division of political power (unitary state. • As a site of structural tensions specific to each dimension. is mere taxonomic fury] towards a potentially more dynamic analysis. multi-area government Local/urban governance. etc) Place Scale Networks Origin-edge. as noted by Mayer (2008) and Paasi (2008). produced in part through the impact of other socio-spatial structuring principles on territorial dynamics (now reading the matrix vertically.anti_796 antixml-als. partnerships Past. poly-nucleated horizontality spaces of cities. The intersection C 2010 The Authors Journal compilation C 2010 Editorial Board of Antipode. labour linked regions. sites. with multiple flows. • As a terrain of strategic dilemmas associated with these tensions and. Brenner and Jones (2008:395). borders. to differently localities. level (local nested or nonthrough to tangled governmental global). the territory←→territory cell raises the issue of the formally and substantively adequate balance between the extremes of hermetic closure and a borderless world. based on networks. city-regions. scaled places globalities Scale as area Vertical ontology Parallel power rather than based on networks. federal state. taking us beyond typology [and beyond what. For example. milieux. free cities. spatial hierarchies international division of regimes labour (Russian doll) Global city Flat ontology Networks of networks. in the worst case. state alliances. and Distinct places in Multi-level emergent a given government frontiers. of agency that makes a difference. ripple effects (radiation) Stretching and folding Cross-border region. Division of cities. we find tensions facing global cities. a fortiori.2u Standard LaTeX document class) 8-6-2010 :494 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 10 Table 2: Beyond one-dimensionalism: conceptual orientations Structuring principles Territory Fields of operation Territory Place Scale Antipode Networks Inter-state system. territory boundaries Core–periphery. scale → territory. for the territory → place cell.cls (1994/07/13 v1. and network → territory). borderlands. focusing on the territory column and considering the linkages from: place → territory. • As a structured field. gated enclaves. intermeshed entrypoints rhizome sites Source: Jessop.

federalism. Or. including their implications for potential contradictions. although their diagrammatic representation and practical testing pose serious problems (see Jessop. . for example. these five guidelines remain stubbornly two-dimensional. Threedimensional concepts are found and four-dimensional concepts are certainly feasible. which explores how networks are forged in places. or defer the contradictions and crisis tendencies associated with a given socio-spatial configuration—one key aspect of which would be specific forms of spatio-temporal fixes and their compossibility. An interesting issue relevant to (in)compossibility is how far a TPSN configuration can be organized around analogous poles of the respective tensions of a the TPSN schema. one could ask how gated enclaves displace their costs into the social and political environment or. indicating the need for further work.cls (1994/07/13 v1. and so forth (cf Blatter 2003. Brenner and Jones 2008:392). Whilst affirming their importance. monoscalar. crisis tendencies. and examines their formal and substantive adequacy for providing compossible spatio-temporal fixes for problems generated within and beyond the state system. Thus the territory–territory cell invites consideration of issues of multi-level territorial governance. sociospatial configurations require some differentiation in this regard if they are to prove stable. we see these as second-order concepts that presuppose the first-order concepts introduced above. Sheppard and Sziarto (2008) have recently proposed “positionality” and “mobility” as important socio-spatial concepts. is central to the research programme C 2010 The Authors Journal compilation C 2010 Editorial Board of Antipode. turning to other territory-place configurations.2u Standard LaTeX document class) 8-6-2010 :494 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 Thinking State/Space Incompossibly 11 of tensions linked to different dimensions of socio-spatiality requires specific types of action to resolve. Likewise the territory → place cell could be analyzed in terms of the specific spatio-temporal fixes associated with global cities and global city-regions (expanding at the cost of national states and hinterland regions with strong centre–periphery dynamics as well as at the expense of the “third world” inside the global city) (cf Sassen 1996. how free cities expand at the cost of the natural environment and exploited subaltern classes (eg Kohn 2004). Treating the four dimensions self-referentially and in terms of their interactions. Scott et al 2001). conversely.anti_796 antixml-als. interstate consortia (or consociation). Schmitter 1996). confederalism. and dilemmas. Nicholls (2009) advances this in his work on “social movement space”. again. contained. In addition. bordered. This requires an analysis that breaks with a purely self-referential account of the governability of states as discrete political territorial units. Sheppard (2002) and Leitner. and characterized by closed networks or whether. displace. Apart from the last remark.

C 2010 The Authors Journal compilation C 2010 Editorial Board of Antipode. Trudeau 2008. Saad-Filho and Johnston 2005). The second case discusses some resulting problems for state spatial projects.2u Standard LaTeX document class) 8-6-2010 :494 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 12 Antipode that we are recommending here. Kramsch 2002. Jones 2009a. However marked the similarity among forms. Uitermark 2002. MacLeod and Jones 2007. Jessop 2009c. Ignatieff and Thakur 2005. The first shows the power of thinking varieties of capitalism compossibly (via the concept of variegated capitalism) and then examines the successive strategies adopted by the European Communities and European Union to address the significance of changing patterns of variegation for approaches to European integration. Gough 2004.cls (1994/07/13 v1. and conflicts. The latter cases are illustrated in the dialectics of market. Excess similarity has been evidenced recently in the increasingly one-dimensional pursuit of neo-liberalism on a global scale. and stalemates. impasses. and governance failure (for differing perspectives on this. This is where spatio-temporal fixes become critical in terms of their differential ability to displace and/or defer crisis tendencies. see also Crouch 2005). Jones and Ward 2002). including flanking and supporting mechanisms to compensate for the typical propensities to fail associated with the primary structuring forms and principles (cf Jessop 2006. The former would address the relative coherence that comes from a variable combination of similarity across socio-spatial forms and complementarity among functions. Higgs 2004. Complementarity is also significant here because it can provide requisite variety and a repertoire of responses for crisis management. Painter 2008. 2009a. leading to a crisis in global neo-liberalism and a crisis of the finance-led accumulation regime in the case of economies that underwent neo-liberal regime shifts (compare Hutton 2008. state. contradictions. Research into these socio-spatial configurations can be undertaken from a compossibilist and/or incompossibilist perspective.anti_796 antixml-als. An incompossibilist approach would focus in turn on the ways in which similar forms in contradictory social formations eventually generate mutually reinforcing crisis tendencies and/or in which different but non-complementary forms can produce blockages. For this enables interactions among the four dimensions to be understood as expressions of diverse attempts at strategic coordination and structural coupling in specific spatio-temporal contexts in the face of various TPSN-specific tensions (eg Bulkeley 2005. forms problematize function and may not contain social conflicts. Q2 Rethinking State/Space Compossibly and Incompossibly We now offer two brief studies: the changing socio-spatiality of the European Union as a state in the process of formation and English regional policy respectively. Jones and Etherington 2009. Jessop 2001. 2009b. and economic and social policies. . see Chesterman. Ward 2003). spatial strategies.

cls (1994/07/13 v1. treating them as rivals competing on the same terrain for the same stakes. investigate the links between varieties of capitalism and state forms. A common distinction between liberal market and coordinated market economies fails to differentiate among modes of coordination. Hall and Pain 2006.2u Standard LaTeX document class) 8-6-2010 :494 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 Thinking State/Space Incompossibly 13 starting. This implies that the state is important only in “exceptional” cases whereas its forms and functions. This focus on territorial logics clearly conflicts with the logic of the space of flows entailed in the organization of the world market (cf Harvey 2003. We recommend three steps to overcome this deficit: first. and ignoring potential complementarities within a wider international or global division of labour. there is often wide variation within any individual national economy across its different sectors and/or regions. e Thinking Varieties of Capitalism Compossibly While the topic of varieties of capitalism (VoC) might seem unconnected to changing state spatialities. its focus on industry–finance relations or business models. In response. and third. Schmidt (2008) has suggested the notion of “state-influenced” market economies for cases outside the usual binary contrast. consider the changing socio-spatial articulation of different sets of varieties proposed to date (eg Amable 2003. interrogate the socio-spatial assumptions of varieties of capitalism approaches. From a compossibilist perspective. of course. Coates 2003. This will reveal the limitations of the main accounts and explanations proposed in the 1980s and 1990s9 for varieties of capitalism and also show the intimate connection between these varieties and their respective state forms. casting doubt on the national economy as an analytical unit and raising questions about divisions of labour defined in terms of place and/or scale. albeit variable.anti_796 antixml-als. 2004. previous work on varieties of capitalism can be criticized on five grounds. Hall and Soskice 2003. for present purposes. Crouch et al 2004. This C 2010 The Authors Journal compilation C 2010 Editorial Board of Antipode. First. Jessop 2006). second. This is. Le Gal` s 2002. Streeck and Yamamura e 2001. Sagan and Halkier 2005). Hanck´ et al 2007. Whitley 1999) and their insertion into the world market. Second. Brenner 2003. in the 1980s with spatial planning. see Beer et al 2005. The case study material is drawn from UK experience (but for similar trends occurring in cities and regions elsewhere. and then turn to recent city-regional development strategies. . Gonz´ lez 2005. matter in all cases. more generally. for a critique. promotion of a Europe of the Regions and/or of Europe and the regions. it fetishizes national territory in focusing on (families of) national models. a form of methodological nationalism in which national states and their boundaries serve to define the scope of different models. this is due to the firm-centredness of much of the relevant literature or. both within national frontiers and across them in transnational networks. a Kazepov 2005.

and international regimes are critical factors in shaping VoC dynamics. the emphasis on “horizontal” comparisons and/or competition among national or regional varieties of capitalism diverts attention from the “vertical” relations between core and periphery (Radice 1999) and ignores important asymmetries in the competition and co-evolution among varieties of capitalism due to differences in their capacities to shape the world market. Fourth. corresponding to the five criticisms outlined above. cf McMichael 1990 on the role of incorporated comparison where one model has a strong constitutive impact on the structural environment in which other models operate. . Peck and Theodore 2007). Fifth. In this regard.cls (1994/07/13 v1. a focus on national economies ignores alternative socio-spatial configurations such as emerging supranational blocs. it would be better to explore the scope C 2010 The Authors Journal compilation C 2010 Editorial Board of Antipode. and. emergent ecology of varieties of capitalism rather than a more or less enduring set of national varieties that occupy distinct niches that are potentially independent of each other. The idea of compossibility is fruitful here because it suggests the existence of a single variegated capitalism (cf Jessop 2007b.2u Standard LaTeX document class) 8-6-2010 :494 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 14 Antipode problem cannot be solved by invoking the key role of national states in shaping institutional and regulatory frameworks for all economic players in a national economy—especially as state formations on other scales and networked international regimes also have increasingly important roles. Interestingly. a focus on the changing global division of labour suggests a tendentially emerging single variegated capitalism within a self-organizing. albeit on different theoretical grounds. states. For. rather than describing and interpreting them as if each variety occupied a separate silo. concern with varieties of capitalism may lead to neglect of the marketmediated competitive pressures and political initiatives that encourage convergence among them. to paraphrase the well-known revisionist principle in Animal Farm: “all varieties of capitalism are equal but some are more equal than others” (Orwell 1945. whether through European integration and harmonization and/or US-sponsored expansion of networked. and Konings 2008 on the influence of asymmetrical intermediary capacities in global circuits of finance). There are five main grounds for this. world market-friendly international economic regimes. such cross. Third.anti_796 antixml-als. This has major implications for changing forms and functions of states viewed as specific mechanisms of government and governance. Second. First. the inter-state system. rejecting methodological nationalism.and intra-national variations are connected to the sociospatial configurations associated with forms of capitalism as well as to the changing dynamic of the world market. global city networks. or global commodity chains. Jessop 2007a on ecological dominance. The growing integration of the world market makes it especially inappropriate to study “varieties of capitalism” in isolation. and relatedly.

contradictions. that is. We must reject.anti_796 antixml-als. Fifth. spatio-temporal compossibility. This is not just a matter of logical compossibility. competition.2u Standard LaTeX document class) 8-6-2010 :494 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 Thinking State/Space Incompossibly 15 for rivalry. the substantive fit (or otherwise) among varieties of capitalism. Third. in this context. noting their respective capacities to displace and defer contradictions and crisis tendencies into the future and/or elsewhere into zones of relative incoherence. and networks. complementarity. not all economies can establish their national money as the world currency and run massive and growing trade deficits. and. Within the ecology of the changing world market there is enormous scope for variation and variegation and. for example. or co-evolution across different models of capitalism and their spatio-temporal fixes (cf Crouch 2005). antagonism. and so on. Fourth. claims about the suprahistorical superiority of one or another disembedded model of capitalism. This involves not only the economic competitiveness of a given form of capitalist organization but also the capacity of its political regime(s) to promote this form in and beyond its territorial and extraterritorial contexts in relations among places.cls (1994/07/13 v1. and spatio-temporal fixes. as Radice (1999) argues. where this exceeds the limits of compossibility. asymmetries. interpreting conventional varieties of capitalism in this way highlights the need to relate comparatively successful performance in certain economic spaces not only to their external as well as internal conditions of existence but also—and crucially—to the costs that such success imposes on other spaces and future generations. instability and even catastrophe. the US model (if it has a singular character) entails many co-evolved relations with other economies subordinated to its logics. It also concerns discursive-material. examining the world market in terms of centre–periphery relations as well as in terms of simple national differentiation raises important socio-spatial questions about state capacities. Focusing on variegated global capitalism involves identifying and explaining zones of relative stability in terms of their changing complementarities. and crisistendencies in a complex “ecology” of accumulation regimes. importantly. modes of regulation. neo-liberalism is not just one variety of capitalism among others that has proved more or less productive and progressive (or more or less inefficient and exploitative) and could be adopted elsewhere with the same positive (or negative) results. For example. This has long been recognized in geo-economic and geo-political studies and highlights the need to explore different forms of structural coupling and co-evolution among political economic spaces. as if the whole world economy could be organized along these lines. not all national states can be military masters in a unipolar world. the resulting crises may force the reimposition of relative unity or produce the “mutual ruin of the C 2010 The Authors Journal compilation C 2010 Editorial Board of Antipode. . interscalar relations. In these terms.

we should explore their structural coupling. Dirigiste (or statist) coordination of market economies involves in turn resort to regulated competition. and mutual compossibilities. It is important to note here that the liberal state also constitutes a form of intervention in the organization of the market (Foucault 2008. The Rhenish version of the coordinated market economy is linked to a neo-corporatist mode of state intervention. In short. privatization. free trade under WTO rules has been C 2010 The Authors Journal compilation C 2010 Editorial Board of Antipode. deregulation. and cuts in direct taxes. this is associated with policies that promote liberalization. This also requires us to consider the contradictions and mutual incompossibilities among varieties and stages of capitalism and their implications for the future dynamic of “variegated capitalism” at the level of the world market. rather than considering varieties of capitalism in isolation. . an expanded role for public–private partnerships. de-centralized “regulated self-regulation”. a post-developmental neo-mercantilist state still engages in meta-guidance. public. in part through networks. a widening of the range of private. co-evolution. Gramsci 1971) and. state-guided national strategies rather than topdown planning (indicative or prescriptive). and most recently. in the current period. the East Asian export-oriented model involved a Listian developmental state that guided economic growth. abilities to promote one or another variety of capitalism. Varieties of capitalism can be explored in terms of their responses to the contradiction between the economy considered as a pure space of flows and the economy as a territorially and/or socially embedded system of resources and competencies. which involves the state in modulating the balance of competition and cooperation. The liberal market economy is linked in ideal-typical terms to a liberal state. resort to market proxies in the public sector. internationalization. In turn. and secure spatio-temporal fixes appropriate thereto. and efforts to maintain high levels of taxation to finance social investment. innovation-led competitiveness. initially for national security. then catch-up development. increased governmentalized audit of private and public sector performance. neo-mercantilist protection of the core economy (extending in the current global economic crisis to socalled financial mercantilism). and the development of new collective resources to facilitate economic security and global competitiveness. policies to protect the core economic sectors in an increasingly open economy. of the economy.cls (1994/07/13 v1. and other “stakeholders” in the pattern of corporatist negotiation. This is critically related to questions about the state and its changing socio-spatial configurations. privatization measures are selective and tied to state strategies (or the interests of state managers). Despite neo-liberal policy shifts and imposed structural adjustment policies. liberalization of collective consumption (under GATTS) has been limited.anti_796 antixml-als. the expansion of public– private partnerships under state guidance.2u Standard LaTeX document class) 8-6-2010 :494 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 16 Antipode contending classes” or various forms of so-called state failure and social stagnation.

For this reason. Q3 . places. a clientelist Mediterranean welfare regime (cf Hantrais 2000. possible second. market integration was expected to have spillover effects that would consolidate regulated capitalism on a wider scale and also lead to deeper political integration. and the wider European economic space. and the “Monnet mode of integration” was concerned to create a “Keynesian-corporatist” (sic) form of statehood on the European level favourable to different national Fordist modes of development (Ziltener 1999). and the tax system is still largely developmentalist. national economies. The situation changed as the European Community expanded to include members with different modes of growth. regulation. Ruigrok and van Tulder 1996).cls (1994/07/13 v1. The six founding members of the European Economic Community (EEC) had modes of growth and regulation belonging to one or another of the regulated varieties of capitalism as well as one or another form of conservative-corporativist welfare regime or. where economic and political forces are seeking to restructure national states and economies in the hope of solving the longstanding structural “problem” of competitiveness within regions.or third-order principles) and their implications for the compossibility of different state spatial strategies and state spatial projects. by extension.2u Standard LaTeX document class) 8-6-2010 :494 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 Thinking State/Space Incompossibly 17 imposed gradually (outside of the IMF crisis) and protection continues in the name of national security. and scales (and. The resulting policies and their historical sequencing can be studied in terms of the principle that not everything that is possible is compossible. in Italy’s case. Thinking Varieties of Capitalism and EU State Formation Incompossibly We now apply these general arguments to European state formation. antagonism and contradiction within and between the four first-order socio-spatial structuring principles of territories. the early stages of integration encouraged the development and coherence of the European Communities as instances of variegated regulated capitalism. networks. The initial steps towards European integration aimed to integrate Western Europe into Atlantic Fordism.10 The growing incompossibility of different varieties of capitalism was aggravated by the emerging crises of Atlantic Fordism and its differential impact across national models in Europe—with C 2010 The Authors Journal compilation C 2010 Editorial Board of Antipode. Rather than involving a strong principled commitment to economic liberalism at almost any cost at this stage. Initially the UK was relatively isolated as a liberal market economy (and this in part motivated the French veto on earlier entry) but nonetheless served an important intermediary role in spreading the influence of de-regulated international finance into the Continental heartland. Central to our analysis is a focus on the potential for incompatibility.anti_796 antixml-als. and welfare.

The emerging Lisbon project is closely tied to the shift from a Keynesian-welfarist mode of integration to a more Schumpeterian-workfarist mode. seen neo-liberal chickens come home to roost because of over-rapid deregulation and debt-fuelled speculation. In contrast to the earlier pursuit of various measures of positive integration alongside the pursuit of negative integration. The Monnet mode of coordinated market integration was replaced by the more liberal internal market project. This involves the de. social policy towards negative integration and collibration. neo-corporatist. intensifying the crisis in European integration. creating conflicts among neo-liberal. which was officially consolidated in the Lisbon agenda. more recently. Eastwards expansion of the European Union has aggravated the incoherence of the EU—an effect that is far from accidental but was promoted by neo-liberal forces within and beyond the European Union and that has. and neo-statist currents. The OMC is C 2010 The Authors Journal compilation C 2010 Editorial Board of Antipode. These problems encouraged a turn to the open method of coordination (OMC) in the 1990s. Portugal.anti_796 antixml-als.2u Standard LaTeX document class) 8-6-2010 :494 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 18 Antipode some making neo-liberal regime shifts at different times and some making neo-liberal policy adjustments. see Altvater and Mahnkopf 2007. Pursuit of measures that tend to eliminate restrictions on “the four freedoms” (the free flow of goods. thereby increasing the economic and social heterogeneity in the original core. the re-scaling of state power. growing incompossibility has produced a bias in economic and. The latter had strong support from the founding members of the EEC and from Austria. and prompting the search for a new mode of integration.and re-territorialization of the state. the de-statization of crucial economic and social policies.cls (1994/07/13 v1. and labour) tends to weaken the coherence of the respective national cores of coordinated market economies and to advantage mobile capital (on the neo-liberal bias of negative integration. Streeck 1995). services. . threatening the overall stability of the EU. Retaining older forms of European statehood would have been incompatible with the changes in accumulation regimes and hindered after-Fordist re-regulation. and an increasing emphasis on networked power. on its limits. This made it harder to create the conditions to re-scale state planning from the national to the European level and/or to establish a tripartite Euro-corporatism (on Euro-corporatism. to a lesser extent. see Falkner 1998 and Vobruba 1995. It combines a commitment to international competitiveness with retention of the European social model and can be seen as a compromise between neo-liberal and social democratic variants of capitalism. and Sweden. capital. The growing incompossibility of an increasingly variegated European economic space with the Monnet model of integration helps to explain the shift away from policies of harmonization and the development of the open method of coordination as one among several examples of “multi-scalar meta-governance conducted in the shadow of postnational hierarchy” (Jessop 2007a). van Apeldoorn 2002). Denmark.

the judicious mixing and remixing of market. thereby facilitating the extended reproduction of a variegated capitalism based on the structural coupling and co-evolution of different modes of growth and regulation with different modes of insertion into the European and wider world markets. . a relative monopoly of organized intelligence combined with overall monitoring of agreed governance procedures (Willke 1996). From one viewpoint. It does this by allowing states to pursue different approaches to shared EU objectives. C 2010 The Authors Journal compilation C 2010 Editorial Board of Antipode. mobilization of non-governmental bodies and social movements. which represents a major response to the growing incompossibility of distinct varieties of capitalism within an increasingly integrated economic and political space that has been subject to growing pressures from an increasingly integrated (and. crisis-stricken) world market. The recent and continuing crisis over the European constitution and its validation through national referenda and/or legislative decision-making indicates the problems of economic and political incompossibility in an expanding European Union that is itself located in an increasingly heterogeneous world market and polity. The OMC helps to mediate the resulting variegation without relying purely on negative integration and without imposing a onesize-fits-all economic and political programme. social dialogue. hierarchy. that is. consistent resort to a single method of coordination to deal with a fixed pattern of complex interdependence. Effective collibration depends in turn on “super-vision” and “supervision.cls (1994/07/13 v1. Thus we have seen repeated rounds of constitutional debate over the design of the Europolity as well as growing resort to and expansion of comitology. etc.anti_796 antixml-als. and solidarity to improve overall outcomes (cf Dunsire 1996). The emphasis is on efforts at continuing collibration in a changing equilibrium of compromise rather than on systematic.2u Standard LaTeX document class) 8-6-2010 :494 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 Thinking State/Space Incompossibly 19 a distinctive form of collibration. given the ecological dominance of neo-liberalism on a world scale from the 1980s onwards (cf Jessop 2007a). that is. One indicator of this is the changing position of the European Round Table. networks. the pursuit of neo-liberalism within the EU appeared to be the line of least resistance given the co-existence of several “varieties of capitalism” with their complex contradictions. public– private partnerships. This emerging trend in institutional restructuring and strategic reorientation can be contrasted with the usual alternative accounts of the rescaling of the traditional form of sovereign statehood or the revamping of liberal intergovernmentalism inherited from earlier integration rounds. as integral elements in attempts to guide European integration and steer European Union policy-making and implementation (Scott and Trubek 2002). which is an important site of compromise between contending fractions of capital and a major vector of the interiorization of external constraints as well as intra-European conflicts and contradictions (cf van Apeldoorn 2002). more recently.

in line with the principle of subsidiarity. and network turns. institutional. however.2u Standard LaTeX document class) 8-6-2010 :494 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 20 Antipode Reflecting the complex position of the European Union within a variegated capitalism that is not confined to European economic space but extends to the world market. national states. EU meta-governance has become a crucial site for contending political forces both within and beyond the EU as they seek to shape its overall strategic direction and/or specific economic and social policies (cf van Apeldoorn 2002. Thus our second case is more compossibilist than incompossibilist in its line of argument. and Eastern and Central Europe) and those that inclined more to neo-liberal policy adjustments (notably the Benelux economies. and metagovernance arrangements. C 2010 The Authors Journal compilation C 2010 Editorial Board of Antipode. . and has since spread to Europe with a vengeance. and Germany) and the limits to their compossibility within the current constitutional. scalar. retention. territorial and/or functional in form. It explores the scope for apparently contradictory or even incompossible policies to be pursued regionally through a combination of muddling through. Spain. selection. the UK. the current economic crisis illustrates how the balance of forces has shifted in this regard against neo-liberalism within the European framework. Indeed. This has revealed significant differences once again between the economies that undertook the most marked neo-liberal regime shifts (Eire. we do not want to encourage another one-dimensional turn. in its formulation and implementation. single-mindedness is especially inappropriate. While the initial compromise position was embedded neo-liberalism. Ziltener 2001). to the increased role of subnational and cross-national agencies. and institutionalization. this time compossibilist in nature. place-centric. as if all theoretical and practical problems could be solved by a single-minded turn in this direction. Even before this volte face.cls (1994/07/13 v1. the tendential Europeanization of economic and social policy had been closely linked. The current struggle over the most appropriate response to the global crisis of neo-liberalism that was “made in America”. and sub-national tiers of government linked to different forms of networking and efforts at governmentality. Iceland. Thus it has been a vector for American neo-liberal pressures to redesign the world order and for attempts to promote an alternative European model. In this regard there has been a significant scalar division of labour between the EU. Thus we recommend looking at compossibility and incompossibility in terms of the differential scope for loose and tight coupling among socio-spatial dimensions in different contexts and in terms of variation. first emerged there. since this turn is premised on the territorial. Scandinavia.anti_796 antixml-als. the Baltic Republics. Thinking Regional State/Space in Europe Compossibly While this narrative exemplifies the dynamics and limits of compossibility.

present. It is re-shaping the meaning of political space and encouraging new forms of political mobilization and action (see Keating 1998. Harrison 2007). There is growing recognition that regions are necessarily contingent historical geographical accomplishments with many possible natural and/or social bases (MacLeod and Jones 2007). economy and culture (2001:16. reflecting the relativization of scale that destabilized national space as well as an expanded role for rhizomatic networks C 2010 The Authors Journal compilation C 2010 Editorial Board of Antipode. Power and responsibility are being shifted from the national to lower tiers of government and governance. Scott et al 2001). it promises sound post-national governance through the regulatory primacy of post-national scalar divisions of labour and connectivities among different social fields mediated through multiple networks. Jessop 2009a). our emphasis). This is now shaping efforts to build city-regions across Europe based on economic clusters. Keating 1998). Such an analysis would examine inherited TPSN landscapes and the shifting balance of forces mobilized behind different past. cultural and administrative practices and discourses. Christiansen and Rodr´guez-Pose a ı 1994. This pattern has nonetheless proved incompossible with economic and social performance that matches obvious competitors.2u Standard LaTeX document class) 8-6-2010 :494 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 Thinking State/Space Incompossibly 21 mutual limitation. uneven development. . and future socio-spatial configurations. The “new regionalism” project is the latest political and policy manifestation of such constructs regarding state spatiality in the afterFordist period. The strategically selective terrain on which regional projects are pursued is crucial. MacLeod 2001. leading to gradual economic decline and placed England in a poor position to respond to the global crisis in neo-liberalism and the national crisis in finance-led accumulation. in these practices and discourses regions may become crucial instruments of power that manifest themselves in shaping the spaces of governance. which promoted inter alia spatial planning based on regions to apply European structural funds and cohesion policies (Borr´ s Alomar. This opens them to a compossibilist analysis in terms of their multiple individual bases and the compossibility of different regions within and across space–time.cls (1994/07/13 v1. and growing self-awareness of localities as socio-political entities (Hall and Pain 2006. knowledge-based economy strategies. Further. In stark contrast to the “encagement” and “entrenchment” state strategies of Atlantic Fordism that rested on the regulatory primacy of national territory and domestic place (cf Brenner 2004. This political strategy began in the 1980s with the “Europe of the regions” discourse. Our approach can be deepened by revisiting the hotly contested concept of “region” and the roles played by regions in economic governance and socio-economic development. economic.anti_796 antixml-als. As Paasi notes: Regions are always part of this action and hence they are social constructs that are created in political.

open up the state apparatus. and pressure for devolution and constitutional change within the regions themselves. politics and policy. tailored to subnational. For not only would its retention depend on its capacity to promote economic competitiveness and social cohesion but also on its capacity to secure decentralization. Factors favouring its effective integration into state spatial strategies include its compatibility with the shift from a spatio-temporal fix that prioritizes territory-place to one organized around scale-network. Q4 . income and employment (cf Dunford and Perrons 1992). In addition. and any other projects in play. the institutional and legitimacy crises of the (after-)Fordist state. and empower sub-national governing communities. Jones and Jones 2005. Such multi-scalar meta-governance informs not only UK regional policy but also. decentralization allegedly offers a territorial shape capable of nurturing culture. Veltz 1996). its resonance across such diverse fields as identity. and its adaptability to different contexts and conjunctures. Yet these processes do not operate in a spatial vacuum: space can hold legacies. political settlement that renders economic development institutions more open and accountable to local. regional and local circumstances are considered better able to address the continuing problems caused by entrenched territorial inequalities in growth. democratized. the balance of forces. see EC 1996). it promises to address the imperatives of economic competition.anti_796 antixml-als. But it is worth asking whether the new regionalism involves more than a short-term coincidence of diverse elements of regional policy and could be retained and institutionalized into a socio-spatial configuration that is compossible in the longer term. Some factors favouring the initial selection of the new regional imaginary are its productive fuzziness. Experience to date is very uneven and probably negative because only C 2010 The Authors Journal compilation C 2010 Editorial Board of Antipode. and its promise of addressing the congestion of local economic initiatives associated with numerous rounds of spatial planning and economic governance (Goodwin. Decentralized structures are also expected to deliver an enhanced.cls (1994/07/13 v1. regional and subnational territorial circumstances (see OECD 2001). and promoting regional distinctiveness (see Elias 2008. culture. developing social and political imaginaries.2u Standard LaTeX document class) 8-6-2010 :494 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 22 Antipode of networks that cross-cut conventional territorial forms (Blatter 2004. Pike and Tomaney 2009). economics. This poses the question whether the new regionalism is not only a possible (ie abstractly feasible) state project but also compossible with the inherited institutional landscape. emerging TPSN configurations like the EU (Jessop 2007a). Jones and MacLeod 2004). This helps to explain why decentralized approaches. its coherence with the open method of coordination. Harty 2001. Nonetheless to secure relative coherence among these multiple forms and sites of decentralization. more significantly. Finally. network forms of organization are considered necessary (for an early UK example.

Bromley et al 2006. which also shapes efforts at territorial coherence via Regional Select Committees and a Council of Regional Ministers. This has led one of us to identify an “impedimenta state”. . These are cross. Morgan 2007). place-based initiatives. or networked opportunities (Allen and Cochrane 2007.and inter-territorial alliances (in terms of their geography and policy remits) and build on experiments such as Local Strategic Partnerships. Since the late 1990s the government has pursued economic and political strategies based on decentralization (eg new economic governance through city-regions.2u Standard LaTeX document class) 8-6-2010 :494 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 Thinking State/Space Incompossibly 23 partial successes have been recorded (compare Blatter 2003. Loughlin and Deschouwer 2003. While efforts are being made to C 2010 The Authors Journal compilation C 2010 Editorial Board of Antipode. Jones 2004. MacLeod and Jones 2007. prompting attempts to bridge the gap through networked governance projects such as Local Area Agreements and Multi-Area Agreements.anti_796 antixml-als. Here we see TPSN state strategies responding to problems created by state intervention itself—a crisis of inherited forms of TPSN crisismanagement (cf Offe 1984). Coordinated implementation is still hampered by inherited inflexibility of the state apparatus due to the fragmented legacies of individual departments and policy initiatives and their scalar interpenetration and/or interference. Jeffery and Wincott 2006. political. Keating. created to “supervise” Regional Development Agencies and other activities within and across the regions. but their apparent incompatibility and baggagelike polity is reproducing irrationality (Jones 2009b). devolved policies for the “skills society” and knowledge-based economy) and others that concentrate economic. We would suggest that exit from these crises requires adequate responses to the socio-spatial contradictions of the neo-liberal model without regenerating the older problems that neo-liberal state spatial restructuring was meant to resolve. Hazell 2006. All three projects exemplify meta-governance (Jessop 2008). Rodr´guez-Pose and Gill ı 2005. and state power in similar fields (eg through the Review of Sub National Economic Development and Regeneration and subsequent Single Regional Strategies as multilevel “coordination points” to provide a “clearer set of objectives and responsibilities”—see Communities and Local Government and Department for Business Enterprise & Regulatory Reform 2008). that is. Yet the decentralization/devolution initiatives counteract others that involve new territorial projects. Royles 2007). Christiansen and Rodr´guez-Pose 1994. Some of this is now acknowledged. Etherington and Jones 2009. 2008. a trend for the state to become the medium and outcome of a series of economic development rationalities. scalar reshuffling. Borr´ s a Alomar. England is certainly a site of competing TPSN spatial strategies and illustrates the role of muddling through in coping with combined and uneven development.cls (1994/07/13 v1. which are being implemented through multiple spatial strategies and projects. Rossi 2004. ı Cole 2006.

sometimes place. incompossible—in the medium or long term or. One proposal. At the time of writing. and retention: what seems possible for short-term co-existence of elements or events may prove impossible—in other words. formal regionalization is continuing and becoming more interventionist. but also addresses the problems emerging from the wider reorganization of the inter-state system within a rapidly changing world market and global social formation. The latter is central to such analyses because. to reiterate. alternatively. more elaborated but still provisional. proposal is to explore compossibility and. incompossibility. another. It also underlines the significance of variation. In our concluding remarks. may prove impossible when its articulation with other socio-spatial dimensions is considered).2u Standard LaTeX document class) 8-6-2010 :494 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 24 Antipode support and flank neo-liberalism (a form of “neo-neo-liberalism”).cls (1994/07/13 v1. . may require changes elsewhere to make it compossible. There is significant interest in a “Regional Communications Hub” for each Regional Development Agency territory to coordinate information on what is happening in the region. is seen as a basis for coordinating government publicity across the English regions. opening space for recognition of agency. not everything that is possible is compossible. selection.anti_796 antixml-als. the compossibilist approach has wider significance. A new synthesis is clearly required that not only moves beyond present blockages within national territorial and economic space. reflected in diverse theoretical deficits. we return to these bigger issues. little developed here. state policy offers more of the same. Conclusion In response to acknowledged weaknesses in socio-spatial theorizing over the past 30 years. Brenner and Jones (2008). Given a “credit-crunch” driven recession with economic restructuring comparable to the early 1980s. This affects the general deployment of sociospatial concepts (what seems possible from a one-sided concern with territoriality. Although we have illustrated this through two case studies in particular fields. which when connected to a new “Economy Communications Group” of the major ministries. more significantly. for example. however. sometimes C 2010 The Authors Journal compilation C 2010 Editorial Board of Antipode. is to link the TPSN scheme to tensions and dilemmas. methodological hazards and empirical blind spots. we have suggested some ways to expand the TPSN scheme introduced by Jessop. Discussions inside the state reveal confusion about and with a discourse of “messaging narrative” and “audience segments”. In this context we suggest that: 1 the relative weight of the four first-order dimensions of sociospatiality introduced above varies with different types of sociospatial fix—sometimes territory. this model is already showing its limitations.

and sometimes combinations (see below) matter more in securing the coherence of spatio-temporal relations crises can be explored in terms of the growing incoherence of these four socio-spatial dimensions as previously organized under the dominance of one (or two) such dimensions crisis resolution often depends on the emergence of a new spatiotemporal fix that reorders the relative importance of territory. a solitary state could exist if it turned part of terrestrial space into a territorialized area non-contiguous with another territory controlled by another state. in analysing socio-spatial transformations. challenging the metaphysic of binary opposition . after the crisis of its primary spatio-temporal fix. the TPSN schema is useful in refining socio-spatial theory and. 6 We prefer the term ensemble to assemblage because we regard the latter term as too rigid and demanding a translation of agencement (cf Venn 2005). 7 “. territorial. 9 Analyses vary across periods: Shonfield’s classic work. and inviting inquiries into the possibility. C 2010 The Authors Journal compilation C 2010 Editorial Board of Antipode. Finally. when located in a broader strategic-relational framework sensitive to possibility and compossibility. scale. we suggest that. Its compossibilist framing was developed by the current authors.cls (1994/07/13 v1.anti_796 antixml-als. see Gough (1991). and network territory–place was important during Atlantic Fordism and. impossibility. and refusing to conceive of difference as contradiction” (Gregory 2000:172–173). 8 They might be fruitfully studied in such terms in certain contexts. Martin Jones and Gordon MacLeod (see Brenner et al 2003. water and sky considered as first nature and as built environment. . compossibility and incompossibility of specific sets of socio-spatial relations. Endnotes 1 The TPSN schema below derives from intermittent debate among Neil Brenner. for example. see Luke 1994). 2 The terrestrial is used here to include earth. 3 For an analysis prefiguring some of these arguments. Martin Jones thanks The Leverhulme Trust for support through a Philip Leverhulme Prize. Bob Jessop.2u Standard LaTeX document class) 8-6-2010 :494 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 Thinking State/Space Incompossibly 25 2 3 4 5 scale. . highlighted the state’s significance for the dynamic of post-war capitalism (Shonfield 1965). the actual as the level on which real forces are actualized. tendencies and counter-tendencies. . Jessop. and the empirical as the level of evidence for this effect. a fortiori. sometimes network. . “geographies of compossibility and incompossibility” is a valuable addition to the conceptual vocabulary of socio-spatial inquiry. . those who have been persuaded by the claims of deconstruction have set dialectics aside. 5 Critical realists distinguish the real as the deep layer of underlying causal mechanisms. place. 4 In principle. scale–network has become more significant with a focus on absence and co-absence11 as well as presence and co-presence. Even the telematic is emergent from the terrestrial insofar as it provides the conditions and medium for cyberspace (for a different take on the terrestrial. Brenner and Jones 2008). and telematic.

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