One of the main objectives of the case studies in an ongoing EU research project is to compare policy programmes and practices, in seven member countries, that seek to alleviate territorial inequality and generate economic growth and territorial cohesion. In such comparison, the problem of conflation and rescaling of administrative territorial units and boundaries demands particular attention. In this article we argue for an analytical perspective which focus on ‘conjunctures’ drawing among other on Massey and. A ‘conjunctural approach’ aims at unfolding and understanding instances of similar dynamics within and between places by combining ‘incomparable’ constitutive elements. Administrative boundaries does not necessarily reflect the complexity of mutual responsibilities between policy actors, businesses, and local communities. Local specificities make it difficult to compare the local political room for manoeuvre, due to different administrative principles, unequal degrees of devolution of competences or differences in constitutions, e.g. federal states versus unity states. Through two examples from the ongoing research project we show how a conjunctural analysis accommodate a place based approach to territorial cohesion which can supplement what is found through comparable units, and which enable focus on crucial interplay between local economic development, cultural patterns and place identity for territorial cohesion.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Inclusion
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

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