اقتصاد سیاسی بلر در "سیاست جدید منطقه ای"
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|3170||2006||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Geoforum, Volume 37, Issue 6, November 2006, Pages 932–943
The “region” and “regional change” have been elusive ideas within political and economic geography, and in essence require a greater understanding of their dynamic characteristics. Trailing in the backwaters of the devolution to the Celtic nations of Britain, the contemporary era of New Labour’s political-economic ideology, manifest through “third-way” governance in England places the region and its functional capacity into the heart of geographical inquiry. Drawing upon a new regionalist epistemology, this paper seeks to recover a sense of (regional) political economy through a critical investigation of the development and formulation of Blair’s “New Regional Policy” (NRP). I address how New Labour has attempted to marry economic regionalisation on the one hand, and democratic regionalism on the other. This paper specifically questions the wisdom of such a marriage of politically distinct ideologies through a critical investigation of the underlying contradictions of their strategy from both a theoretical and empirical standpoint. Demonstrated both in the North East “no” vote in 2004, and in the post-mortem undertaken by the ODPM Select Committee in 2005, the paper illustrates how a loss of political drive gradually undermined the capacity of devolution to deliver in England. Finally, I argue that through the lens of the NRP we can speculate on some of the wider issues and implications for the study of regional governance.
Shortly after New Labour’s landslide sweep to power in 1997, a comprehensive programme of constitutional modernisation was set in motion throughout Great Britain, which resulted in the creation of an elected Parliament for Scotland, a National Assembly for Wales, an Assembly for Northern Ireland, an elected London Mayor to lead a newly formed Greater London Assembly, and a working partnership of Regional Development Agencies and Regional Chambers in each of the eight English regions. For Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and London, the restructuring of their state institutions to install the new mechanisms of governance that would enable them to engage fully in devolved politics was relatively straightforward. However, in England: “Striking images of people celebrating the birth of their new democratic institutions in Cardiff and Edinburgh reaffirmed the view that the way in which we “do” politics in the UK was changed forever…[However] the English have had little chance to celebrate. The governance of England represents a gaping hole at the centre of the Government’s devolution programme.”
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
As I have mentioned earlier, Your Region, Your Choice marked a watershed in the development of the NRP as it outlined proposals for a fuller engagement with the ideological mantra of the new regionalism that there was an economic and democratic dividend to be had through the decentralisation of socio-economic decision-making and associated policymaking to subnational institutional frameworks and supports. However, the purity of these new regionalist ideas were becoming increasingly enmeshed and hidden in a complex web of entangled policy hierarchies as the state realigned itself towards the English regions. As I highlighted earlier, the NRPs emergence under the guiding hand of John Prescott at the DETR, provided a clear understanding of the purpose of the proposed new regional institutions. Interestingly, the watershed that Your Region, Your Choice actually marked in the development of the NRP was the entanglement of its previously clear purposes and an obtrusive complexity that read more like a party manifesto than a Regional White Paper. To give just one example, the price paid by the NRP for bringing HM Treasury on board was (i) a commitment to some centralist targeting for extra funding; (ii) a backtracking on all previous statements regarding an ERAs ability to raise tax and have legislative powers; and (iii) the imposition of the regional institutions into Labour’s control-conscious and heavily-centralised Comprehensive Spending Reviews and Public Service Agreements. While many saw the critical mass of new support from key state leaders (such as Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Stephen Byers) as a measure of the NRPs success, the underlying reality was that it was paradoxically bringing the whole process to its knees.