By adopting a multi-disciplinary, multi-scalar and mixed methods approach, informed by the conceptual framework of spatial justice, IMAJINE will advance social science knowledge and understanding of territorial inequalities and related policy measures beyond the state-of-the-art, as well as contribute to the ongoing conceptualisation of territorial cohesion, spatial justice and the European Social Model. In particular, it will demonstrate advances beyond the state-of-the-art in six respects.
- contributing methodological innovation in the transfer of ideas from research to policy in developing the technique of policy scenario building and testing;
- advancing knowledge and understanding of territorial inequalities in Europe by promoting a more holistic, integrated perspective;
- examining the dynamics of territorial inequalities and the efficacy of policy responses in the context of the post-2008 economic crash and austerity policies;
- introducing consideration of perceptions of territorial inequalities alongside analysis of statistical indicators of inequality, and assess public attitudes towards various policy and political approaches to addressing inequality;
- advancing understanding of the relationship between territorial inequalities, spatial justice and support for territorial autonomy movements;
- moving beyond the tendency in previous studies of territorial inequalities in Europe to take the officially defined and delimited NUTS2 or NUTS3 regions as pre-given units of analysis, to promote a more relational understanding of territory and highlight issues of spatial justice in the production of space through regional autonomy and EU cohesion policies.