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Financialising City Statecraft and Infrastructure

Andy Pike, Peter O’Brien, Tom Strickland, Graham Thrower and John Tomaney

Financialising City Statecraft and Infrastructure addresses the struggles of national and local states to fund, finance and govern urban infrastructure. It develops fresh thinking on financialisation and city statecraft to explain the socially and spatially uneven mixing of managerial, entrepreneurial and financialised city governance in austerity and limited decentralisation across England. As urban infrastructure fixes for the London global city-region risk undermining national ‘rebalancing’ efforts in the UK, city statecraft in the rest of the country is having uneasily to combine speculation, risk-taking and prospective venturing with co-ordination, planning and regulation.
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Chapter 5: Deal or no deal? Austerity, decentralisation and the City Deals

Andy Pike, Peter O’Brien, Tom Strickland, Graham Thrower and John Tomaney


A recent public policy innovation is recasting governance relations between national, local and financial actors for infrastructure funding and financing. Introduced in over 30 cities and city-regions across the UK from 2011, City Deals are a new form of urban governance and infrastructure investment based upon negotiated central–local government agreements on decentralised powers, responsibilities and resources. The origins, anatomy and roll-out of City Deals is explained. Through its managerialist institutions and conservative, risk-averse administrative culture and “official mind”, the highly centralised UK state has exerted continued authority and constrained the financialising of city statecraft and infrastructure in the City Deals. In this tightly circumscribed setting, city statecraft has been mixing entrepreneurial and financialised kinds of governance with established managerial practices and institutional forms.

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