Cities and Regions in Crisis
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Cities and Regions in Crisis

The Political Economy of Sub-National Economic Development

Martin Jones

This book offers a new geographical political economy approach to our understanding of regional and local economic development in Western Europe over the last twenty years. It suggests that governance failure is occurring at a variety of spatial scales and an ‘impedimenta state’ is emerging. This is derived from the state responding to state intervention and economic development that has become irrational, ambivalent and disoriented. The book blends theoretical approaches to crisis and contradiction theory with empirical examples from cities and regions.
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Chapter 3: Urban crisis and contradiction

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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