New regionalist theories of development place an emphasis on the changing relationship of territory and function and on the social construction of regional systems of production. Regional development policies have adapted. with more emphasis on decentralization and endogenous development. Much emphasis has been put in recent work on the concept of social capital, although this is often invoked more than analysed and often reduced to an inherent cultural trait. This article looks at the construction of regions around the theme of development, looking at culture, institutions, social relations and leadership in two regions of Spain. Catalonia and Galicia have similar powers as autonomous communities, yet they have produced quite distinct development projects and policies. This is less to do with inherent cultural traits than with different forms of institution building.