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Martin Jones

This chapter outlines the key arguments in the book. Cities and Regions in Crisis suggests that economic development policy failure has been continually moved around. Contradictions necessitate displacement and transformation, but the crisis management strategies of the state themselves are always subject to new forms of crisis tendency, which points to the always unstable nature of economic governance and economic development. It suggests that economic development is heterogeneous, mutable, and involves variegated responses, producing unstable uneven geographical outcomes. A political economy framework for grappling with this is desperately needed and the chapter outlines: firstly, a consideration of the relationship between geography, public policy, the state, and space; secondly, a long-run analysis of the historical specificities, trends, and counter-trends of state intervention within capitalism; and thirdly, the interconnecting of analyses of economic development with changes in social policy, given the value-relations aspects of capitalism within which state intervention occurs.

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Martin Jones

This chapter, first, offers an introduction to the regulation approach (RA) and the new localism. Second, the RA is extended through Jessop’s idea of the Schumpeterian Workfare State (SWS), economic development is associated with governance, in contrast to a Keynesian Welfare State (KWS) government. Governance is a way of conceptualising the growth of unelected local agencies and public-private partner_ships that are being established alongside traditional forms of management undertaken by local government. The chapter argues that the contemporary period is one of economic governance, as opposed to economic government. Third, the emergence of neoliberal economic governance in the United Kingdom is discussed. Fourth, two contrasting forms of UK economic governance are evaluated: a centrally imposed ‘top-down’ enterprise partnership, illustrated through Business Link in England, is contrasted with a nascent ‘bottom-up’ social economy-based partnership model popularized in Glasgow, Scotland.

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Martin Jones

This chapter interprets the current British new localism dilemma as a contemporary expression of a much longer history of urban crisis management. It supplements those studies that evaluate urban policy on its own terms and considers why, and in what ways, particular problems are constructed and the processes through which spatial scales and regulatory mechanisms become codified as the solution to such problems. The chapter develops a post-regulationist conceptual framework to inform understandings of the capitalist state, re-reading British urban policy through the lens of the Frankfurt school critical theory to provides the basis for formulating a ‘fourth-cut’ theory of crisis—extending the unfinished project of Harvey on the geographical displacement and reconfigurations (or ‘spatial fixes’) of capitalist crisis formation and resolution. It draws attention to the ways in which the state is embroiled in, and contributes to, the crisis of capitalism, and in turn the crisis of crisis management for local and regional economic development.

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Martin Jones

This chapter examines the emergence and evolution of the policy logics of local welfarism in Britain. In particular, it examines the making of Employment Zones (EZs) and how these intended to take forward the search for a ‘Third Way’ in welfare reform, focusing on the apparently changing policy rationales behind the initial design of prototypes and subsequently the much altered proposals for ‘fully-fledged’ Employment Zones. The chapter suggests that though fully-fledged zones contain much that is innovative, some of the key ingredients that made prototypes such a bold experiment may be lost. In the context of neoliberalism, the chapter reveals some of the underlying tensions within the New Labour welfare-to-work project and how it exhibits a mechanism for crisis metamorphosis and displacement.

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Martin Jones

This chapter discusses the emergence of the new regionalism in Britain. Regional Development Agencies were formally established in the English regions in 1999, owe their origins in large part to the impact of the ‘new regionalism’ both in academic discourse and in the transfer of institutional design and policy lessons from successful economies elsewhere. This chapter illustrates the growing policy commitment to the new regionalism in the United Kingdom as British policy-makers have moved from observing with interest developments in successful European regions to attempts to implement their alleged lessons at home. The chapter discusses how RDAs have encountered pressing contradictions. Instead of rationalising the landscape of economic governance, they add a new layer of complexity to an already confused institutional arena. But these weaknesses cannot be attributed to the RDAs alone—they stem from key design faults in the overall structure of this experiment in regional economic governance.

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Martin Jones

This chapter suggests that the rescaling of state capacities and competencies associated with the new regionalism is providing an emerging cultural and political territorial space in and through which grassroots social justice movements are becoming visible. The chapter suggests a need to consider two contested processes. In the context of the ‘English question’, it draws a distinction between a state-driven (and somewhat top-down) functional regionalisation and an often pre-existing (and more bottom-up) civil society regionalism. The former captures a general set of trends occurring in advanced capitalism and relates to economic globalisation and the scalar and territorial recasting of state power. The latter represents the different historically-forged connections between territory and identity, which are geographically specific, typically fragmented, and highly uneven across the English regions. The chapter presents this two-fold distinction as a way of analysing the contestation and mobilisation of regions using the East Midlands RDA region to ground concerns with social justice.

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Martin Jones

This chapter is concerned with new regionalist city-region building through state and policy interventions such as the Northern Way. It uses the Sheffield City Region as a case study: a British city struggling with the policy discourses of city regional competitiveness. Sheffield’s occupational structure has been transformed over the past 20 years from a high paid employment economy with a plentiful supply of skilled jobs in the steel and engineering industries, to a de-industrialised economy where many of the new jobs created in the service sector tend to be low paid. The chapter shows how the creation of city regions hides qualitative micro-economic and social geographies and specifically glosses over issues such as the quality and sustainability of the employment base and inequality more broadly. The chapter suggests that city-regions reinforce, and have the potential to increase, rather than resolve, uneven development and socio-spatial inequalities.

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Martin Jones

This chapter develops a contextual framework to explore the ‘new new localism’ in Britain, where the reanimation of civil society is viewed as a means of stimulating localist economic development. It offers theoretical insights into the rhetoric of decentralist discourses and the geographical complexities and contradictions of local state remaking on the ground. The chapter suggests that there is considerable mileage in the notion of ‘locality’ to advance critical policy analysis and build political economy theory it urges a ‘return to locality’ to enlighten studies of economic and social development and offers three new readings of locality, which when taken together, constitute the basis for thinking about geography through the lens of new localities.

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Martin Jones

This chapter is concerned with the dynamics of new new localism and devolution. It follows the development of city regionalism through these different discourses and unfolding City Deals in Manchester and Sheffield, in the context of the Northern Powerhouse, questioning the effectiveness of this as a coordinating framework for local and regional economic development. Within a language of localism, devolution and austerity, the chapter looks at how civil society actors have sought to deal with city regional development approaches and the new governance structures. The chapter firstly considers how austerity has impacted on these processes. Secondly, by focusing on the positioning of civil society actors, it highlights how city regionalism and the Northern Powerhouse, more broadly, raise serious queries around developing notions of ‘inclusive growth’.

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Martin Jones

This chapter is concerned with the links between the new new localism, devolution, and the depoliticisation of local and regional economic development. This chapter suggests that ‘post-political’ approaches downplay or ignore forms of crisis management, governance failure and state failure, and the way state policies and institutions are sites themselves of political mobilisation and conflict. It contends that the state should continue to be seen as a productive arena for performing politics and offers a grounded focus on politics and struggles of economic development in city regions. The chapter traces the localisation of welfare and the new geographies of austerity, alongside the evolving and more media-friendly devolution of skills and other employment initiatives. Returning to the Sheffield city region and the strategic shifts in governance and politics embraced by devolution, it explores the politics of welfare reform and employment policy: undertaking this analysis against a backdrop and context of social inequalities and austerity policies, identifying and analysing emerging social struggles and their conflicts.