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England's Problem Region: Regionalism in the South East

Listed author(s):
  • Peter John
  • Steven Musson
  • Adam Tickell

England's South East is the most affluent and privileged place in the UK. Yet it is also the most institutionally weak and geographically divided of all the English regions. And while all the English regions are to some extent unnatural artifices, the South East is defined mainly in relation to an external space: London. The new, post-1997 regional bodies - RDAs, Regional Assemblies and expanded Government Offices - have the task of constructing and legitimizing an institutional framework that is unable to incorporate the heart of the regional economy in the capital city. There is as a result little popular support in the South East for regional government, and limited pan-regional cohesion among elites (which tend to have a fragmented, local focus). Incentives for a fuller regional mobilization may, though, emerge as a defensive strategy to prevent the migration of resources to more coherent and economically disadvantaged northern regions. Le sud-est d'Angleterre est la region la plus riche et la plus favorisee du Royaume-Uni. Toujours est-il que c'est la region la plus faible pour ce qui est des institutions et la plus divisee sur le plan geographique. Tandis que toutes les regions d'Angleterre sont dans une certaine mesure des constructions artificielles, le sud-est se voit delimiter dans une large mesure en fonction d'un espace externe: a savoir, Londres. Les nouveaux organismes regionaux qui datent de 1997 - les agences de developpement regional (Regional Development Agencies - RDA), l'Assemblee regionale (Regional Assembly) et l'elargissement de l'Administration (Government Office) - sont charges de construire et de legaliser un cadre institutionnel qui ne sait pas incorporer le noyau de l'economie regionale dans la capitale. Du cote du grand public du sud-est, il y a peu de soutien en faveur du regionalisme, et une cohesion panregionale limitee parmi les elites, qui ont tendance a avoir un point de mire plutot fragmente et local. Cependant, il est possible que des actions en faveur d'une mobilisation regionale de plus grande portee voient le jour en tant que strategie defensive afin d'empecher une fuite de ressources adestination des regions septentrionales qui sont plus coherentes et, du point de vue economique, plus defavorisees. Der Sudosten Englands ist die wohlhabendste und privilierteste Gegend des Vereinigten Konigreichs, doch institutionall gesehen ist es gleichzeitig auch die am schwachsten entwickelte und geographisch die am starksen aufgesplitterte aller englischen Regionen. Obwohl alle englischen Regionen gewissermassen als unnaturlich zusammengestuckelte Gebilde anzusehen sind, wird der Sudosten vorallem durch seine Beziehung zu einem ausserhalb liegenden Raum, namlich London, bestimmt. Die neuen, nach 1997 eingesetzten Korperschaften - RDA, Regionalversammlung und Regierungsstellen mit erweiterten Kompetenzen - haben die Aufgabe, einen institutionellen Rahmen zu erstellen und zu legimitisieren, dem es nicht gestattet ist, den Kern der regionalen Wirtschaft in der Hauptstadt mit einzubeziehen. Im Sudosten ist man nicht sehr fur eine Regionalregierung, und beschrankte, panregionale Eliten (meist mit fragmentiertem, lokal ausgerichtetem Blickfeld). Anreize fur eine umfassendere, regionale Mobilmachung konnen jedoch in Form einer defensiven Strategie zur Verhutung einer Abwanderung von Resourssen in zusammenhangendere und wirtschaftlich benachteiligte nordliche Regionen auftauchen.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Regional Studies.

Volume (Year): 36 (2002)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
Pages: 733-741

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Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:36:y:2002:i:7:p:733-741
DOI: 10.1080/0034340022000006051
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  1. J Peck & A Tickell, 1995. "The social regulation of uneven development: 'regulatory deficit', England's South East, and the collapse of Thatcherism," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 27(1), pages 15-40, January.
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