This special issue of West European Politics marks the 30th anniversary of the journal.
Abstract: For many years, territorial politics was neglected in political science under the influence of a modernist paradigm according to which territory gives way to function as a principle of social and political organisation. In the last 30 years it has received more attention as territorial political movements have made an impact. This has provoked a reconsideration not just of the present but also of the past, as scholars have identified the persistence of territorial politics even within unitary states. There is a continuing separation of the study of local and urban from regional politics, although the respective literatures address similar issues and use similar concepts. The 'new regionalism' literature examines the emergence of territorial systems of action under the impact of state transformation and transnational integration. There are marked differences in territorial politics in western and east-central Europe, not because of primordial ethnic characteristics, but because of the evolution of the state in the post-war era.