This article describes how four strategic planning initiatives in Presov region relate to regional identity building and regional governance, and to the vertical integration of strategic planning at national, regional, sub-regional and local scales. The plans are read as records of an institutionalising process, the product of which is the creation of a lasting collaborative relationship between actors. The importance of strategic planning as a governance tool was accentuated by the conjuncture of the advent of regional self-government and the accession of Slovakia to the EU, which prompted a reform (and a partial decentralisation) of regional policy. The case studies indicate that a bottom-up, endogenous approach to local and regional strategic planning has predominated, but there is little will to harmonise local and regional development perspectives. The coordinating function which regional authorities are supposed to assume has been a difficult challenge for them, as they confront a crisis of legitimacy. Alternative regionalisations and regionalisms thus coexist in the same or overlapping spaces. This could be interpreted positively, as a sign of regional identity building and adaptability, but only if a greater degree of connectivity were present could Presov become a 'learning region'.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.