Regional and Local Studies special issue 2007 ISSN 1509–4995
an inteRdiSciplinaRy Model of centRe-peRipheRy RelationS: a theoRetical pRopoSition
The paper proposes a model in which centre-periphery relations defined at a high level of generality (from the global level down to regional structures) can be analysed from a perspective of a number of disciplines, including political science (e.g. Rokkan’s theory of peripheries and centre-periphery cleavages), sociology (e.g. Bourdieu’s theory of the forms of capital) and linguistics (discourse analysis including code switching and politeness theories). It focuses on the nature of the discourse of peripheral elites which, as it is argued, live in a two or more dimensional social space and communicate in at least two separate codes (particularly languages): peripheral and central. Using the above mentioned theoretical concepts, the paper offers an attempt at theorisation of the mechanism of mutual perception of the centre and the periphery.
The purpose of this paper is to provide a preliminary presentation of a new approach to theoretical description of relations between the broadly defined centre (core areas) and the periphery (dependent, subordinated areas). The theoretical model discussed here makes reference to quite an abstract perception of the ‘centre’ and the ‘periphery’, which may correspond to various levels of spatial organisation, from the global level of intercontinental relations to the local level of an internal structure of a given country’s regions or other smaller territorial units. Totally abstract references of the reflections below to the ‘centre’ and the ‘periphery’ defined in a symbolic space or – using the language of Pierre Bourdieu (Bourdieu, Wacquant 2001) – in conventional ‘fields’ of social interaction, seem also to be possible. Thus, one may discuss a literary, musical or religious field where central and peripheral areas are distinguished. Although many...