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Exploring the impact of New Labour urban regeneration policy at the local scale: the implications of an approach to ‘joining-up’ on the coordination of urban regeneration

Ellerton, Thomas (2014) Exploring the impact of New Labour urban regeneration policy at the local scale: the implications of an approach to ‘joining-up’ on the coordination of urban regeneration. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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This thesis investigates what the changing policy approach of the ‘New’ Labour Government meant for local regeneration initiatives, focusing particularly on the idea, of joining-up. From 1997 to 2010 the Labour government placed particular emphasis on urban regeneration policy as part of broader policy commitments to urban renaissance, economic competitiveness and addressing systematic social disadvantage. Emphasis was increasingly placed on the idea of ‘joined-up’ regeneration and the need for enhanced coordination of regeneration inputs at national and sub-national scales (Social Exclusion Unit, 1998). Recognising the cross-cutting nature of urban problems, different aspects of the problem were to be addressed together rather than in isolation. Urban regeneration was also intended to be more locally responsive. Conceptually the thesis situates the idea of joining-up within a longer history of debates about urban policy, including recurring criticisms of a lack of coordination but also a recognition that questions of joining up are shaped by political priorities about what should be prioritised. The actual existing process of policy implementation also depends on the institutional context within which state strategies and state projects are rolled out, including locally distinctive institutional and social relations. It is argued that the process of coordination is not neutral, but reflects broader priorities and also privileges certain aspects of urban regeneration policy over others. Utilising the work of Bob Jessop on state theory on the strategic selectivity of the state, Colin Hay on constructivist institutionalism and Rod Rhodes on policy network analysis, a theory of institutional selectivity is developed to provide a framework for empirical research. Empirically, the PhD contributes new knowledge by undertaking a detailed single city case-study. The city of Liverpool was chosen because of its distinctive regeneration context and the challenges it posed for a transformative vision of national urban regeneration. Drawing on over forty interviews the PhD traces how the strategic selectivity of national policy intersected with local institutional relations to shape particular processes and outcomes around regeneration policy.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Urban Studies and Planning (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.634344
Depositing User: Mr Thomas Ellerton
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2015 09:53
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 12:09
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/7920

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