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In recent years, the ‘city region’ has seen a renaissance as the de facto spatial centre of governance for economic and social development.
Rich in case study insights, this book provides a critique of city-region building and considers how governance restructuring shapes the political, economic, social and cultural geographies of devolution. Reviewing the Greater Manchester, Sheffield, Swansea Bay City Regions, Cardiff Capital Region and the North Wales Growth Deal, the authors address the tensions and opportunities for local elites and civil society actors.
Based on original empirical material, situated within cutting edge academic and policy debates, this book is a timely and lively engagement with the shifting geographies of economic and social development in Britain.
The Government today outlines a new approach to local growth, shifting power away from central government to local communities, citizens and independent providers. This means recognising that where drivers of growth are local, decisions should be made locally. (HM Government, 2010 : 5)
The government has an ambitious programme of devolution. It has sought to decentralise power through structural and legislative changes. The introduction of directly elected mayors with specific powers and responsibilities has enhanced local control and accountability … Just
This chapter moves the focus to how devolution was introduced in Wales. Here too, there was contestation between arguments for independence, devolution and maintenance of the status quo in the years after 1979. For those seeking change, though, there were very strong doubts. The assumed resource model of weak periphery–weak centre relative to aspirations appeared even more appropriate in this case, as Wales has always been considered as having somewhat weaker popular support than Scotland for self-government. Hence, we may reasonably question not only whether
This chapter will address how devolution was introduced in Scotland. Scotland has long had strong identity politics and, despite the negative outcome of the 1979 devolution referendum for reformers, there remained ambitions for constitutional change in the 1980s and 1990s. Nevertheless, there were rival cases for independence and devolved self-government, sceptical views on the nature of devolution and outright opposition to it. Consequently, we need to start from the assumption that there was no ideal stable long-term framework for introducing constitutional
Thus far, this book has placed a focus entirely on territorial politics and constitutional policy as it affected each of the constituent nations and regions of the UK. The approach of central government to territorial management has been examined in each case as a key aspect of centre–periphery relations. This chapter will now place a principal focus on how the Blair governments developed the central state in the light of devolution. It explores the role of territorial pressures and constraints in thinking about adaptation at the centre; the availability of
With new devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, this book makes a comprehensive assessment of the impact of devolution on social policy. It provides a study of developments in the major areas of social policy and a full comparison between Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. To what extent is it valid to speak of agendas for government driven by social policy? With new governments in each country, has a fresh dynamic been given to the emergence of distinct social policies?
"The impact of devolution on social policy" uses a framework of analysis based on the nature and scope of social policies, ranging from major innovations and policy distinctiveness, to differences in implementation, policy convergence and areas of overlap with UK policies. This framework facilitates an integrated analysis and comparison of social policy developments and outcomes between the four UK nations. An assessment is also made of the ideas and values which have driven the direction of social policy under devolution.
With devolution becoming increasingly important in the study of social policy, the book will be of key interest to academics and students in social policy, public policy and politics, and will also be a valuable resource for practitioners involved in policy making.
Most of the expansive literature on social citizenship follows its leading thinker, T. H. Marshall, and talks only about the British state, often referring only to England. But social citizenship rights require taxation, spending, effective public services and politics committed to them. They can only be as strong as politics makes them. That means that the distinctive territorial politics of the UK are reshaping citizenship rights as they reshape policies, obligations and finance across the UK.
This timely book explores how changing territorial politics are impacting on social citizenship rights across the UK. The contributors contend that whilst territorial politics have always been major influences in the meaning and scope of social citizenship rights, devolved politics are now increasingly producing different social citizenship rights in different parts of the UK. Moreover, they are doing it in ways that few scholars or policymakers expect or can trace.
Drawing on extensive research over the last 10 years, the book brings together leading scholars of devolution and citizenship to chart the connection between the politics of devolution and the meaning of social citizenship in the UK. The first part of the book connects the large, and largely distinct, literatures on citizenship, devolution and the welfare state. The empirical second part identifies the different issues that will shape the future territorial politics of citizenship in the UK: intergovernmental relations and finance; policy divergence; bureaucratic politics; public opinion; and the European Union. It will be welcomed by academics and students in social policy, public policy, citizenship studies, politics and political science.
The statistics of devolution
The United Kingdom is now a partially federalised state: the
administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have powers
similar to those of the components of federal states but there is no
separate sub-UK administration for England, which contains 85%
of the UK’s total population of some 65 million. However, within
England there has been a partial and incomplete devolution of
responsibilities to city regions. The most significant is London with a
population of 8.7 million but more
Devolution saw the significant transfer of power from the UK to the Scottish level – including competences over health, education, agriculture and the environment. These powers were used to deliver policies unique to Scotland – the abolition of university tuition fees and prescription drug charges, minimum pricing for alcohol and the reduction of the voting age. However, little attention was paid to how devolution might impact the governance of the UK as a whole or how, after devolution, governments would work together to address common
In returning to focus on Scotland and Wales, this chapter will seek to address how devolution was implemented in the years between 1999 and 2007. It will reconsider the nature of the territorial strains in Scotland and Wales, the power politics of seeking to gain power and guide devolution in each country. It addresses the approaches of the devolved governments and the UK Labour governments in each case to ensure they achieved what they wanted. In Scotland, there was no further major constitutional legislation, although there were some transfers of additional