New directions in economic development: localist policy discourses and the Localism Act

Bentley, Gill and Pugalis, Lee (2013) New directions in economic development: localist policy discourses and the Localism Act. Local Economy, 28 (3). pp. 257-274. ISSN 0269-0942

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Since entering office in 2010, a distinct grammar of localism has pervaded the UK Government’s philosophical outlook, which has inflected localist policy discourses and practice. Now that the Coalition administration’s ‘local’ economic development policy is becoming a little clearer, it is timely to consider the implications of this new grammar for the scope, organisation and mobilisation of economic development interventions. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to trace new and emergent directions in economic development through a focus on the 2011 Localism Act, which applies to England and Wales. The paper interprets these changes through a localist conceptual prism, which helps to refract different varieties of localism. The findings raise some serious concerns regarding localism in action and expose the controlling tendencies of central government. Analysis is also directed towards the uneasy relationship between centralised powers, conditional decentralisation and fragmented localism. Nevertheless, some cases of emergent practice are utilised to demonstrate how ‘constrained freedoms’ can be negotiated to undertake innovative actions. The paper concludes by suggesting some foundational elements that would support the notion of ‘empowered localities’ and may also secure the government’s imperative to enable private sector-led growth.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2011 Localism Act, local economic development, local enterprise partnerships, economic prosperity boards, combined authorities
Subjects: K400 Planning (Urban, Rural and Regional)
K900 Others in Architecture, Building and Planning
L700 Human and Social Geography
N900 Others in Business and Administrative studies
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Architecture and Built Environment
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Lee Pugalis
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2012 10:45
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2023 13:00

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