Since the 1990s, a regional tier of governance has emerged in England, in a country
which historically has not been noted for its regional identities.
The vying for European Union (EU) structural funds has been seen as a key factor in the
mobilisation of regions across Europe. It is within the context of UK membership of the
EU, and the effects of the Europeanisation processes, that some scholars have placed the
appearance of English regions.
Other scholars have sought to explain the growth of English regional governance
principally in terms of a response to globalisation. New Regionalism offers an insight
into the renewed interest in regions as the focus for economic governance in an
increasingly globalised world. With its emphasis on clusters, skills and innovation as a
way to promote a competitive advantage, links have been made with New Labour’s
Economic rescaling, on the other hand, has been seen to offer a more nuanced
understanding of the relationship between the state and the regions. On this view, the
state is actively rescaling economic governance in response to the pressures of
globalisation, but at the same time still retains its traditional authority.
The emergence of governance more generally has also been cited as a factor in English
regionalisation. The extent to which the state is being “hollowed out” is a feature of this
debate. Again, links have been made specifically to New Labour’s agenda that included
plans for devolution for Scotland and Wales and plans for elected regional assemblies in
This thesis examines the East of England and the South West English regions within the
context of these debates. The central argument is that regionalisation in England is a
centrally orchestrated process by central government as the nature of governance, but
not the state, changes.
|Date of Award||1 Jan 2008|
|Supervisor||Anna Bull (Supervisor)|
- English regions
- new regionalism