Europe is an “old” place.

As we see in Richard Thornton’s current Column “Berkeley the Butcher” and in Jim Bacon’s “Nathaniel Bacon Vindicated, Gov. Berkeley Shamed” post and comments of 4 September, “old” Europe fundamentally reshaped Africa, Asia, North and South Ameria and shaped the future of Virginia.

Now it is reshaping itself. It is not just the European Union and the Fundamental Change in the governace structure below in nation-state level in “western” Europe, that is changing, it is all of Europe.

Thirty-seven percent (3 of the 8) of the national teams in the Quarter Final of EuroBasket 2007 represent places that were not on any map of nation-states in 1980.

If we are going to talk about “change” it needs to be Fundamental Change.


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10 responses to “FUNDMENTAL CHANGE”

  1. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Ed, You’re alluded before to how Italy has reshaped its municipal governance structures. Do you know of a concise English-language description available on the Web?

  2. E M Risse Avatar

    My source was a converstaion with the chief executive of the association of senior public adminstration professionals. (I do not recall the name of the organization off the top of my head.)

    He had just returned from working with several regions and, of all places the Region that includes Bologna (hold the jokes please, the Region is called Emilia Romagna as I recall ) was at that time the leader of the pack.

    I will check and see what I can find.


  3. E M Risse Avatar


    I overlooked the fact that Russian was not a nation-state either in 1980 so the percentage is 50% — 4 of 8.

    Among the others who were eliminated were the Czech Rep, Ukraine, and four or five others that did not exist as nation-states in 1980. Slovenia is in as the second seed of one of the two pools.


  4. E M Risse Avatar

    What a Mess:

    “municipal governance structures in Europe” yields 1,630,000 hits at Google.

    “governace structure in Europe below the nation-state” gets 2,040,000 hits.

    A quick review of the first five pages of each indicate that multiple interest groups are spinning at top speed.

    Guess what? There is no Overarching Conceptual Framework and no Comprehensive, Agreed-To Vocabulary to use to compare or evaluate alternatives.

    One needs to know a lot about each system to understand how to strucure a comparison.

    Answering your question would require a good PhD program — not a student, a program.



  5. The European formula:

    1. High wages.

    2. High unemployment.

    3. High taxes.

    4. Big government.

    5. Relatively functional settlement patterns.

    6. A broad social safety net.

    The US could certainly copy Europe. However, the “conservatives” on this blog would have to accept the things they like about Europe (high wages, relatively functional settlement patterns) along with the things they don’t (high taxes, etc).

    I know of nowhere on Earth where land rights, limited government, low taxes and functional settlement patterns coexist.

    If anybody knows of such a place – please let us know where it is.

  6. Anonymous Avatar

    I agree with most of this, except I don’t know how to design measure or recognize a functional settlement pattern. You have traveled far more than I, so I’ll accept your judgement.

    But what is it, exactly that makes you think the Europeans have more functional settlement patterns? Functional how? Less travel? Happier people? Aren’t eurocities suffering from sprawl same as us?

    Otherwise, you may be right. There does seem to be a difference between being Republican and being conservative.


  7. E M Risse Avatar


    A few notes on your list:

    In general it is right on, with US of A ingeneuity several areas could be greatly imporved.

    1. High wages.

    Pay better related to productivity than places like France would be a good idea. Feather bedding in some sectors.

    2. High unemployment.

    More pay for subsistance and green jobs like CCC would be good if linked to manditory public service (including defense).

    3. High taxes.

    A lot of folks seem to be under the illusion that a high technology, urban society can run on low public contributions. Not until humans get a new set of genes.

    4. Big government.

    The trickiest part. More governace levels, more voluntary participation, and the most important public office should be your Dooryard rep on the Cluster Board not someone who thinks he is Caesar.

    5. Relatively functional settlement patterns.

    Very important. Ends up cutting per capita energy consumption by half for starters. Euros could do better and, as we document in SoTF they are NOT creating settlement pattern dysfunction via scatterization. Apples to
    Apples there is big difference at scale of New Urban Regions.

    6. A broad social safety net.

    Another place that we could do better. A lot of feather bedding.

    The measures of success are health and happiness. By these and other metrics (except per capita consumption) they are better off.

    Their gains have primarily come from rethinkng “traditional values.” A lot of the parameters of New Europa they learned from what we said we wanted to do but are too fat and lazy to do what we know is the right collective course of action.


  8. E M Risse Avatar


    In the simi-finals of EuroBasket 2007 three of the four teams represent nation-states that did not exist in 1989.

    Lathunia, Slovenia, Russia and Spain are in. France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Isreal, and 16 others are gone.

    I know it is only a “game” but who fields a team is important when considering the pace of Fundamental Change of governace structure in the “old” Europe.


  9. E M Risse Avatar

    MY BAD

    Turns out Greece beat Sloveina. I jumped to and early conclusion based on a fourth quarter score and counted Greece out. They made a comeback.

    Today, Greece lost to Spain.

    I will not pre call the other semifinal. It will be Russia or Lithuania vs Spian. Either way one old and one new.

    On the larger topic of goverance structures that Jim asked:

    One thing that is clear about governace structure below the “state / provence” level in Europa:

    All have a focus on “Region” not on “municipality” (e.g. “city”) but none seem to have a multi-leveled organic stucture below the Region.

    As noted in SoTF we relied on the work of Christaller and Doxiodis in developing the New Urban Region Conceptual Framework with organic components down to the Dooryard scale.


  10. E M Risse Avatar


    Russia defeated Spain.

    Russia, Spain and Lithuania qualify for the Olympics in Beijing. As did US of A and Argentina in FIBA Americas a few weeks ago.

    Greece, Germany, Croatia and Slovenia will play in the qualifying round in China next summer.

    43% of the nation-states representing Europe in the 2008 Olympics did not exist in 1985.

    Russian and Germany have fundamentally changed since 1985, that is 71% change.

    Old America, New Europe.


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