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By Le Galès, Patrick; Lequesne, Christian

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By Le Galès, Patrick; Lequesne, Christian

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4 [Gemdev, 1994]. 5 The expression was coined to describe some of the African states such as Zaire or the Cameroon. Is Italy’s case completely different? 6 It covers Far Eastern Siberia, the North-East of China, West of Japan and the Korean Peninsula. See the thesis by Karoline Postel-Vinay, Japanese Actors and Transnational Relations in the Zone of the Sea of Japan [1996]. , 1992, pp. 27–52. 3 Intergovernmental relations and regional government in Europe A sceptical view Vincent Wright Over the last twenty years throughout Europe we have been witnessing great changes both in the structure of intergovernmental relations and in regional government.

The relation with the market varies a lot from region to region, depending on resources, on the capacity to attract investments, the level of economic development, the technological assets and the labour force. There are also large differences in the will to establish an autonomous regional power, especially between the rich and the poor regions. The latter often prefer centralisation because it allows their regional actors to have access to the central government. So in Spain, the poorer regions of Andalucia and Extremadura had privileged relations with the Socialist government of Spain between 1982 and 1996.

If we turn to the second area of turbulence—society—we witness equally important changes. We note, first of all, the emergence of a new political agenda compared with ten to fifteen years ago. This agenda has been reshaped by a number of issues, including: • unemployment at persistently record levels, the rise in the number of the long-term unemployed, of the ‘new poor’, of homelessness; • law and order issues, with apparently insoluble problems of rising crime rates and drugs problems; • immigration; • environmentalism—the so-called ‘greening of politics’; • feminism and gender-related issues; • consumerism.

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