Regional imaginaries of governance agencies: practising the region of South West Britain
Thomas, Nicola J
Environment and Planning A
Changes in government and governmentality in the UK have witnessed what has been termed a ‘regional renaissance’ over the last decade. This has led to an increase in the number of offices, institutions and agencies operating with a regional remit that is based upon a notion of fixed territorial containers. One sector that has increasingly been brought into the orbit of the new regional policy framework is that of the creative industries, and research is required in order to understand how creative industry governance agencies imagine and interpret the regional spaces that they administer. Notwithstanding the supposedly agreed upon and bounded nature of the territories over which they have competence, we find that personnel working within these regional bodies negotiate and imagine regional space in a number of ways. Drawing on empirical work with three creative governance agencies in the South West of Britain, we consider a range of dynamic and sometimes contradictory understandings of regional space as practised through their policy development and implementation. The paper traces how the practice of creative industry governance challenges the governmentally determined region and, by implication, any territorial unit as a naturally given container that is internally coherent and a discrete space available for governance. In doing so, the paper has broader lessons for effective policy delivery more generally.
Harvey D C, Hawkins H, Thomas N J, 2011. The definitive, peer-reviewed and edited version of this article is published in Environment and Planning A 43(2) 470 – 486 DOI: 10.1068/a43380
Copyright © 2011 Pion
Environment and Planning A, 2011, 43 (2) pp. 470 - 486