Rescaling governance, the turn to localism within sub-national governance: assessing the impacts upon planning and regeneration policies during a period of austerity

McGuinness, David (2021) Rescaling governance, the turn to localism within sub-national governance: assessing the impacts upon planning and regeneration policies during a period of austerity. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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The impact of the scalar shift from regionalism to localism within English sub-national governance has been an under-researched area of policy over the past decade. This submission for PhD by Published Work, comprising five jointly authored international journal articles and a book chapter, addresses a recent critical juncture and rescaling of governance on two interrelated areas of urban policy: i) planning and ii) regeneration. The outputs critically analyse the impacts of the rescaling of sub-national governance in England upon planning and regeneration policy. Complimentary qualitative research techniques, including semistructured interviews, focus groups, case study analysis and comparative study, allow the triangulation of research findings and enable an in depth understanding of how localism has impacted upon planning and regeneration policy.

The submission illustrates that, in parallel with significant austerity measures, the lack of comprehensive sub-national governance structures has had a negative influence on planning and regeneration policies in many areas, this is particularly evident in post-industrial communities in England. The research has discovered that potential gains offered by rescaling are marginal and overshadowed by fiscal retrenchment in the public sector due to austerity, which has left many local authorities lacking in capacity and resources. Localities have been offered a form of managerial localism, where power is strictly constrained by central government guidelines and expectations. The premature removal of the regional tier of governance without an adequate replacement to facilitate strategic planning was perplexing, and left many areas disadvantaged when dealing with strategic dilemmas integral to governing. Without tailored local powers and resources, the current form of localism is an inadequate approach toward planning and regeneration for post-industrial areas in England. The commentary advocates the need for a more substantive form of localism, underpinned by bold commitments from central government, including establishing cohesive institutional structures for sub-national governance and greater autonomy for localities.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Planning, Regeneration, Localism, Governance, England
Subjects: K400 Planning (Urban, Rural and Regional)
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Architecture and Built Environment
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy by published work
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2021 10:50
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2022 08:01

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