In this article we shall put forward a typology of the various expressions of political regionalism in Europe grounded in the assumption of the existence of two basic yet, surprisingly enough, not fully divergent forms; i.e. ethnic regionalism and transnational regionalism. In the first case, we paradoxically encounter a scaled down replica of the national State (Catalonia, Basque Country, “Padania” etc.) while in the second case, apparently with a post-ethnic connotation, just as paradoxically we are dealing with transnational yet not entirely non-ethnic projects (Black Sea Region, Tatarstan etc.).
Established as a staple in studies of globalisation, the concept of the network implies that stable hierarchies and structures are giving way to nodal, multi-centred and fluid systems, and that this change takes place in numerous fields of interaction. Although the term itself is relatively uncommon, glocalisation is a standard theme in nearly all anthropological writing about globalisation as well as most of the sociological and geographical literature. Moreover, concepts describing impurity or mixing – hybridity, creolisation and so on – are specific instances of this general approach stressing the primacy of the local. The local–global dichotomy is, in other words, misleading. Bauman’s term ‘liquid modernity’ sums up this theoretical focus, which emphasises the uncertainty, risk and negotiability associated with phenomena as distinct as personal identification, economies and world climate in the ‘global era’. Ambivalence and fundamentalism in the politics of identity are seen to stem simultaneously from this fundamental uncertainty.