Beyond the city region? Uneven governance and the evolution of regional economic development in Scotland

Clelland, D. (2020) Beyond the city region? Uneven governance and the evolution of regional economic development in Scotland. Local Economy, 35(1), pp. 7-26. (doi: 10.1177/0269094219899917)

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The sub-national governance of economic development in the UK has, since 2010, been reconfigured towards city-regions and ‘place-based’ approaches at least notionally embedded in specific local needs and resources. In the context of asymmetric decentralisation and fiscal austerity, this raises questions about places outside or peripheral to this framework, and the risk of further divergence in relative capacities to ‘do’ economic development. While changes in England are subject to extensive critique, institutional arrangements in Scotland have received less attention, having avoided comparable dramatic restructuring. The governance of economic development has however undergone significant evolution, with elements of both centralisation and regionalisation apparent. This paper maps emerging sub-national geographies in Scotland through the lens of state rescaling and multi-scalar governance. Analysing processes of change, it argues that the UK Government’s extension of ‘City Deals’ to Scotland made more explicit tensions within an existing city-regional approach and prompted greater attention to implications for peripheral and non-city regions. The introduction of Deals for non-city regions, a system of regional economic partnerships, and a new enterprise agency for the rural South, can all be seen as attempts to reconcile this focus on city-regions as drivers of growth with a desire for ‘regional equity’, and as the latest developments in an ongoing search for the appropriate scales for policy.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Clelland, Mr David
Authors: Clelland, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Journal Name:Local Economy
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1470-9325
Published Online:07 February 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Author
First Published:First published in Local Economy 35(1): 7-26
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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