Local Identities and Politics: Negotiating the Old and the New by Kees Terlouw (University of Utrecht, Netherlands)
The relation between identity and space is strong and generates many conflicts. Most people attach great importance to their local community and its identity. The possibility of change can cause turmoil and become fertile ground for staking new identities. Understanding how these changes can take place is important to the future of community cohesion across the world.
This book gives a detailed analysis of how different stakeholders in two Dutch municipalities use and adapt their identity discourses to deal with changing circumstances, situating this work within a wider international context through global comparisons. The growing spatial interdependence and political pressures for municipal cooperation or amalgamation creates not only threats, but also opportunities for stakeholders in local communities to transform their local identities. By studying how local communities attach to local identities, a new conceptual framework can be formed, informed by lively accounts from residents on the rich and varied use of identity in their communities and their concerns over future developments.
This is valuable reading for students, scholars and researchers working in geography, politics, sociology and cultural studies.