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Die Vergleichbarkeit territorialer Einheiten in der komparativen Europaforschung

The comparability of territorial units in comparative European research
[journal article]

Quick, Michael

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Abstract Two processes lead to a growing demand for internationally comparative studies in various disciplines: the successively advancing unification of Europe and the growing internationalisation of many problems in the European societies. Problems that make such work difficult are the availability of data, the comparability of data and, last but not least, the comparability of territorial units. Comparative European research uses mostly aggregate data; this means sums or means over certain areas. Within these areas the values normally show considerable disparities. There are, simplified, three levels of aggregation: national, regional and local. Theoretical considerations as well as empirical examples show, that analyses on the national level generally are not suitable to discover the main structures. European studies on a local level are almost impossible for practical reasons. Main issue in European research is the discovery of the main large-scale structures and disparities. These can be seen for the best on a regional level, somewhere between nation and municipality. The problem is, that most studies are dependent on data from official statistical sources and the regions are therefor given. The territorial units in the European countries were defined by differing criteria and vary widely in size and structure. The problem can't be solved, even if the regional level in each country is chosen carefully. Especially cities are treated different in the various regional systems. Some European cities are regions themselves, while others are only parts of larger units. This can lead to misleading results, because the urban-rural disparities, that exist in all countries, appear in different intensity. Anyway, the size of regions and the criteria for their delimitation can affect the results. This has to be considered in the conception of all comparative, regional studies as well as in the interpretation of their results.
Keywords Europe; regional research; methodology; administration; comparative research; regional authority; aggregation; zone; structure; regional comparison; constitution; population; town; resident; time series; cartography
Classification Area Development Planning, Regional Research
Document language German
Publication Year 1994
Page/Pages p. 20-29
Journal Europa Regional, 2.1994 (1994) 3
ISSN 0943-7142
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications