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 6: Spaces of regionalism

Martin Jones

Abstract

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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