Urban Regional

Critical reflections on regional competitiveness : theory, by Gillian Bristow

By Gillian Bristow

Since the early Nineteen Nineties, governments and improvement enterprises became more and more preoccupied with the pursuit of local competitiveness. even if, there's substantial confusion round what precisely neighborhood competitiveness ability, the way it can be accomplished, no matter if and the way it may be measured, and if it is a significant and acceptable objective for nearby economies. The primary target of this booklet is to supply a finished and important account of those debates almost about concept, coverage and perform, and therefore to discover the that means and price of the idea that of local competitiveness.

The publication is dependent into 3 elements. half one introduces the idea that of local competitiveness by means of tracing its origins and exploring its assorted meanings in nearby financial improvement. this may significantly have interaction with political financial system techniques to figuring out the character and dominance of the competitiveness discourse. half interrogates the pursuit of neighborhood competitiveness in coverage and perform. This seriously evaluates the measure to which the pursuit of competitiveness is encouraging convergence in coverage agendas in areas via an exam of key determinants of coverage sameness and distinction, particularly benchmarking and devolved governance. half 3 explores the constraints to neighborhood competitiveness and explores no matter if and the way its predominance within the coverage discourse will be challenged through substitute agendas comparable to sustainable improvement and health. This specializes in the constructing qualitative personality of nearby development.

This quantity severely engages with the idea and coverage of local competitiveness, hence supplying the 1st built-in critique of the concept that for undergraduate and postgraduate scholars, in addition to lecturers attracted to neighborhood improvement and coverage. it's going to unpack the concept that of nearby competitiveness and clarify its usefulness, barriers and coverage charm, in addition to reading its sustainability within the mild of evolving governance buildings and the imperatives of broadening local improvement agendas.

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Extra info for Critical reflections on regional competitiveness : theory, policy and practice

Example text

This, he asserts, will help to elucidate the relative importance of material and non-material (semiotic) factors in shaping how successfully the imaginary will be retained and reinforced. He concludes by reflecting on the value of a modified CPE approach, arguing that ‘it is not the components of cultural political economy that should make this perspective distinctive, but the way the components made visible by CPE interact and relate to each other’ (p. 393). Whilst acknowledging that the modified CPE approach requires more detailed empirical application and testing, Jones illustrates its potential through a study of the skills society in the UK which highlights, for example, how key policy statements on the knowledge-based economy and welfare-to-work agendas work in tandem to advocate a work-first approach to tackling unemployment.

No explanation is provided as to how, or to what extent, the various indicators relate to the overall definition of regional competitiveness (see also Chapter 4). This reveals the existence of considerable confusion within policy circles as to whether a region’s competitiveness is simply reflected in its overall levels of prosperity, or whether the conditions shaping the region’s ability to sustain its macroeconomic performance are more or less important considerations. The outcome is a conception of regional competitiveness that is a chaotic mix of productivity, prosperity and the development of numerous different attributes of the business environment.

Regional competitiveness is more clearly intended to refer to the relative economic prosperity of a region, although again there is considerable confusion as to what this actually means and when a situation of ‘competitiveness’ has indeed been achieved. There are fundamental problems in equating competitiveness directly with macroeconomic performance or living standards in a region, not least because of the vagueness which surrounds the conditions that are required to ensure regions with productive firms can generate the high profits and wages critical to enabling them to sustain prosperous economies.

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