Hiérarchisation, délimitation et identification des échelles territoriales

The GlocalMap survey – Hiérarchisation, délimitation et identification des échelles territoriales – got selected in 2015 as part of a DIME Quanti call for projects (internet mobile ELIPSS panel).

According to many research in geography, sociology and political sciences, globalisation has induced a complex process of re-scaling, transforming all dimensions of social life. The idea generally admitted in a first stage of research postulated a kind of a short-cut of scales, linking local and global dynamics and weakening the role of other intermediate scales, and in particular the role of nation-state. But this initial paradigm has been further criticized on the basis of factual evidence as well as theoretical deepening of initial assumptions. For example, Brenner (1998) notice that "the state scale is not being eroded, but rearticulated and reterritorialized in relation to both sub- and supra-state scale". At the same time F. Giraud or M. Vanier (2000) have strongly suggested to "better take into account the territorial complexity" and demonstrated the interest of the concepts of inter-territoriality [interterritorialités] and polycentrality [centralités multiples].

Carried out by the CIST, it aims to propose a first snapshot of the situation of the perceptions of territorial levels at the French level. Most available studies only concern a particular territory and a specific sub-population, thus preventing any indisputable validation of the hypotheses put forward on the respective importance of the commune, the department, the region, the State, Europe and the World in the practices and representations of the population of a given country. Thus, although the various theories of glocalisation and rescaling rely heavily on the practices and perceptions of the inhabitants and stakeholders in support of their demonstration, there is to date a very incomplete empirical basis on the ways in which the territorial levels are understood by the entire population of a country, all generations, genders and social and economic positions taken together.

More than a simple inventory of the representation of territorial levels, GlocalMap wishes to test the hypothesis of a competition or even a historical transition between two systems of territorial organisation of life in society. On the one hand, the "State-Department-Commune" system, heir to the secular process of nation-state formation and having reached its optimal size in the 19th century. On the other hand, the 'European Union-region-intercommunalities-neighbourhoods' system, which slowly developed in the interstices of the previous one throughout the 20th century and emerged as an increasingly serious competitor thanks to many concomitant factors during the years 1980-2010. However, this new system would not be a simple replica of the previous one, but would correspond to new modes of organisation of society that are more polycentric and reticular than the previous one, at least initially.
The great unknown of this research is the way in which the global level positions itself in relation to the two rival systems of territorial organisation.

The questionnaire should make it possible to gain a better understanding of this dual system and, in particular, to verify the hypothesis of a transition in representations between the older generations (who experienced the end of the period of domination of the State-Department-Commune system and witnessed all the stages of enlargement of the European Union) and the more recent generations (who were born with the laws of decentralisation and lived from the outset in a European Union of 15, 25 or 27). If the variations in territorial scales of belonging by generation constitute the main target of our investigations, three other dimensions must be taken into account, both to control effects that are not generational (bias) but also to reveal other factors of variation, which will have to be assessed whether they constitute simple residuals or truly independent dimensions.
The temporal dimension, understood here in a transversal sense, will primarily concern longitudinal generational effects. However, if the survey can be repeated, it will also attempt to control for cross-sectional cyclical factors that may introduce temporary fluctuations in the responses provided.
The spatial dimension will make it possible to isolate possible regional location effects that are sufficiently robust to remain significant, all other things being equal, with respect to the other variables (age, sex, activity, education, etc.). However, it will also look at the effect of the hierarchical position of housing locations, both vertically (rural, small and medium-sized towns, metropolis, capital) and horizontally (central, pericentral or peri-urban location in a conurbation).
The social dimension will be used in a spatially symmetrical way to isolate specific effects of gender, religion, PSC, all things being equal in terms of spatial and temporal variations. To the classical forms of capital (income, education...) we will add a mobility capital thanks to the crossing of our survey with the mobility analysis currently carried out by E. Recchi on the same panel.
The political dimension will also be used as an explanatory factor, if we obtain the agreement of ELIPSS and the project leader to cross-check our results with the "Dynamiques de Mobilisation" surveys on the political and electoral practices of the French.

Finally, this project proposes to introduce a certain number of innovations in the methods of questioning (use of maps) and to verify the possible existence of bias by segmenting the panel into groups subject to different variants of the same question on the territories.