Informations and abstract
This paper relates with a range of works dealing with the restructuring of States and societies in Europe marked by: 1) the States' loss of control upon the economy and the breech between globalization processes and the political space of nation-State; 2) tra fragmantation of national societies and the decline of well rooted national istitutions, social groups and organizations (Church, Army, Trade Unions, social classes, public monopolies). This opens the way for investigations into changing organisation of European societies and has serious implications for the process of the differentiation of politics. The current discussion on how to reorganize the role of the state in Europe suggests to examine the relationship between social and political regulation. The subnational institutions (in particular the cities) can represent one of the new poles of regulation, a new kind of governance wich is triggered by several factors. The paper is an attempt to dela with the issue of cities and regions as levels of regulation and governance in Europe and to suggest a framework of analysis to examine the conditions under wich it may make sense. One way of dealing with the issue is to start from the analysis in terms of regulation and to look at some of the research dine by economists and sociologists to highlight the modes of regulation they have identified without pretending to be exahustive. This induces us to precise the concept of governance and redifine it in a territorial context, from the point of view of new political economy.