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The Center and the Periphery

One of the greatest issues to be faced by the citizens of Europe in the 21st century is the relationship between the traditional centers of power, such as the big cities that represent the heart of the economy, and the small local units that, with globalization and the enormous shortening of distances, acquire awareness of their own value. Reconsidering relations between the center and the periphery in the Renaissance can help us to reflect on similar problems in the present.

The relationship between the center and the periphery can be seen both as interconnection between city and country, and as interconnection between the capital of a State or Empire, the seat of political power and epicenter of cultural life, and its remote outlying districts, which tend to be forgotten. In either case, a tension is established between the two poles that often becomes a situation of hegemony. It may be that the aforesaid tensions depend also on a breakdown in this hegemony model, with the peripheral areas no longer acknowledging an entirely predominant role of leadership to the "center".

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