This book constitutes a selection of the papers presented to the conference that was organized by the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) Standing Group on Regionalism and took place at the University of Thessaly, Volos (Greece) in September 2000. This conference was organized in cooperation with the Department of Planning and Regional Development (University of Thessaly), the Centre for European Studies (University of the West of England, Bristol) and the School of European Studies (Cardiff University, Wales). The main theme is the worldwide growing importance of culture (both in its general sense, i.e. including tourism and sports, and its specific sense, i.e. cultural heritage) in the process of regional economic development. In addition, the cultural, political and social perspectives of regional development are examined. The sub-themes of the book, which reflect the specificities of culture are: i) integration, globalization and local development, ii) the socio-political, economic and cultural evolution of European regions, iii) transregional groupings and cooperation, iv) regional attitudes to multiculturalism, v) entrepreneurship, innovation and regional development, vi) aspects of tourism, vii) the urban dimension of cultural planning, and viii) the management of cultural heritage.