Regionalisation and the English regions

  • Paul Deacon

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


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 agenda. 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 England. 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 Award1 Jan 2008
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorAnna Bull (Supervisor)


  • Europeanisation
  • Regionalisation
  • English regions
  • new regionalism
  • governance

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