The reinterpretation of histories in identities of newly established regions: The case of Local Action Groups in Czechia

  • Michal Semian Department of Social Geography and Regional Development, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague
  • Aleš Nováček Department of Geography, Faculty of Education, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice
Keywords: regional history, new regionalism, regional identity, reinterpretation of history, Local Action Group, Czechia


History is a construct based on the reselection, reconstruction and reinterpretation of past events in order to validate former, present, as well as future actions of actors. Therefore, there is no single history but rather many histories based on different ways of reinterpretation. The reinterpretation of history plays an important role in the process of regional identity formation. In this paper we aim to examine how and to what extent the relatively new ad hoc regions – Local Action Groups (LAGs) – in Czechia use history and historical and historicizing elements to present the region’s image, and how LAGs reinterpret history in order to foster a sense of territorial togetherness among inhabitants. The research had two phases. In the first phase, we evaluated the primary presentation of all 180 LAGs.
While in the second one, more detailed analysis was performed on the strategies of selected LAGs towards the reinterpretation of history. In general, we can conclude that LAGs work with history and historical themes only to a limited extent. However, some LAGs use actively history. The paper identifies three ways of reinterpretation of history engaged in the process of regional identity formation: regional patriotic, critical and conciliatory.