REGION IN ITS COMPLEXITY: A DISCUSSION ON CONSTRUCTIVIST APPROACHES
The contemporary regional geography paradigm is characterized by emphasizing the socially constructed nature of regions. However, the discussion on the conceptualization of region is very rich, it does not reach universal conclusion. Such a universal conceptualization is probably neither possible nor desirable. This paper aims to contribute to the ongoing discussion. It examines the various approaches towards region with special focus on the conceptualization of the institutionalization of the region based on the heuristic literature review and it attempts to propose more complex (but not ultimate) theoretical conceptualization of region that should enable to bridge the duality of region; addressed as an “animate”, constantly changing, phenomenon which also makes it a resource for regional actors to meet their particular goals, one that people may perceive and feel attached to while further mediating their images thereof. The paper builds upon the Lefebvre’s theory of the societal production of space and the Paasi’s theory of the institutionalization of region and presents the idea of the societal production of region. It argues that any complex approach to region must incorporate three levels of region: “given” (practice of region), “made” (representation of region) and “perceived” (idea of region). Better understanding of the concept of region is still more necessary and relevant especially due to the increasing pressure on the applicability of regional research. Thus, the paper suggests the closer insight into the interrelation of three mentioned levels of region is crucial from the view of the contemporary state of art. This text is also published in Czech as the official on-line supplement of the article.