Algorithmic Nations: Towards the Techno-Political (Basque) City-Region Igor Calzada


Despite the need to better understand the changing dynamics between the ongoing political regionalization processes and the re-scaling of nation-states, at least in Europe, updated and timely research that responds to these challenges fueled by data-driven societies and the algorithmic revolution invigorated by an uneven establishment of borders remains scant and ambiguous. Nations, regardless of the spatial boundary by which we define them, matter as much as political borders and account for algorithmic disruption. Hence, this paper explores these new cartographies from the regional studies perspective by presenting the city-region as a pivotal term amidst a wide range of challenges for cities, regions, and nation-states. The Basque Country, as a small, stateless, city-regionalized European nation, is presented as a case study, focusing on its transitional techno-political and city-regional metaphor called ‘Euskal Hiria’ (Basque City). The paper examines five standpoints in the understanding of this notion as well as three potential drivers (metropolitanization, devolution, and the right to decide) that will further determine its future position amidst Spain, France and the EU. The paper explores the concept of Basque City in the context of the attempts by small states (such as Estonia and Singapore) and small, stateless city-regionalized nations (such as Catalonia, Flanders, and Quebec) to modify their governmental logics and devolve powers through blockchain technologies, thus enabling their interactions directly with citizens by setting up new city-regional and techno-political patterns that this paper terms ‘Algorithmic Nations’.


Calzada, I. (2018), Algorithmic Nations: Towards the Techno-Political (Basque) City-Region. Territories: A Trans-Cultural Journal of Regional Studies, 1(1).