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Different definitions of "periphery" and different peripheries in the EU

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2005
Özdemir, Esin
The definition of the periphery can be made in in different ways, based on the concepts emphisized in different theoretical discussions. Correspondingly, different peripheries appear in Europe from the perspectives of these different definitions. The thesis puts forward five different definitions of the periphery; definition of the periphery based on income and income growth differentials; definition of the periphery by using economic structure, employment and population potentials; definition of the periphery based on welfare conditions; definition of the periphery based on externalities; and definition of the periphery based on endogenous growth dynamics. All these definitions produce different core-periphery maps of Europe. The evidence is based on the use of cluster analysis to identify different groups of regions homogenous in terms of variables that belong to every one of these five definitions. The result confirms that there are different peripheries in Europe. One region that is categorised as core can fall into a peripheral group in a different clasification. This shows that there is not only one type of periphery in Europe, but that different peripheries appear in case of the usage of different variables. The thesis also argues that there is a need for regional policies that do not the define the periphery as a homogenous area by considering only income differentials, but that identifies different peripheries that have different needs and problems, and devise instruments accordingly.