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Accepted Paper:

Mobility as a double-edged sword in 'left behind places': a confrontation between inner and ultra-peripheries  
Paola Schierano (Università degli Studi di Pavia)

Paper short abstract:

By tracing the relationship between territorial inequalities and mobility policies in some of Europe's inner and ultra-peripheries, this paper aims to discuss the multifaceted concept of peripherality, exploring the different ways of living, underdoing and responding to 'left behindness'.

Paper long abstract:

The concept of 'left behindness' is generally associated with inner cities, suburbs and peripheries surrounding major cities and with subaltern life struggling with poverty and social inequalities, but urban peripheries are not the only ones experiencing a sense of abandonment and neglect in the EU context.

Considering 'left-behindness' as a condition and a process, and taking into account the relativity of the notion of peripherality, this paper explores, through a comparative lens and specific ethnographic case studies, the 'other peripheries' of Europe: the Outermost Regions and the Inner Territories.

Sharing some limitations such as remoteness, isolation, environmental fragility, structural backwardness, limited public investment and political weakness, Inner Areas and Outer Peripheries of Europe deal with the feeling of being "left behind" in a variety of ways. Despite all the differences, the hinterland and the outermost regions are linked by profound territorial inequalities that manifest themselves at different levels (local, regional, national and EU) and by particular mobility dynamics with significant implications for demography, the economy and social structure.

We argue that mobility flows and policies in the core and outermost regions deepen rather than alleviate the sense of being left behind at a structural and existential level.

By tracing the relationship between territorial inequalities and mobility policies in some of Europe's inner and ultra-peripheries, this paper aims to discuss the changing and multifaceted concept of peripherality, exploring the different ways of living, underdoing and responding to 'left behindness' in the outermost context and in non-urban peripheries.

Panel P047
Living, leaving and undoing ‘left behindness’
  Session 1