The current debate about the best methods of European organization - central or regional - is influenced by an awareness of regional identity, which offers an alternative to the rigidities of organization by nation-state. Yet where does the sense of regionalism come from? What are thedistinctive factors that transform a geographical area into a particular 'region'? Tom Scott addresses these questions in this study of one apparently 'natural' region - the Upper Rhine - between 1450 and 1600. This region has been divided between three countries and so historically marginalized,yet Dr Scott is able to trace the existence of a sense of historical regional identity cutting across national frontiers, founded on common economic interests. But that identity was always contingent and precarious, neither 'natural' nor immutable.