New labours regional policy and its impact on the East Midlands
thesisposted on 2012-04-02, 11:13 authored by Martin Robert Quinn
This thesis sets out to examine the regional policies pursued by the Labour Governments of 1997 – 2010. In particular it looks at how the institutions and networks set up as part of these policies worked in the East Midlands region. Drawing on the theories of New Regionalism the research examined the attempts by the East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA) to set up a governance network. The thesis has three central research questions relating to regional governance and the use of the theories of New Regionalism in an area without a strong regional identity. The research found that while EMDA was able to have a positive impact on the region’s economy it struggled to attract significant private sector involvement in governance networks outside of their Nottingham base. Conversely efforts to set up public-private collaboration in Leicestershire by the City and County Councils had much more success in attracting meaningful contributions from the private sector. Two factors emerged from the research that help to explain the different outcomes found within the region, both of which have implications for regional studies and policy. Firstly the role of local government in attracting private sector involvement in the new Economic Development Company was seen as key as it gave the new venture an air of democratic legitimacy that the quango led regional structures did not have. Secondly this research shows that regional policy makers must seek to ensure that they are working at the most appropriate scale in order to gain the buy-in of local actors. Participants in this research from both the public and private sector did not see the East Midlands as a meaningful region to which they had any attachment or loyalty. Attempts to stimulate economic growth at the county or city-region scale had much more success in attracting business involvement in their networks.
Supervisor(s)Rainnie, Al; Beck, Vanessa
Date of award2012-02-01
Awarding institutionUniversity of Leicester