Subnational Governance

Thursday 12th September 2019, 3.00-5.00pm
University of Liverpool

Professors Danny MacKinnon and Andy Pike visited the University of Liverpool from the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS), Newcastle University, to discuss subnational governance. Danny offered an analysis of the Northern Powerhouse concept, whilst Andy presented on financing city infrastructure.

Danny MacKinnon is Professor of Regional Development & Governance and Director of the Centre for Urban and Regional Development    Studies (CURDS). He is a Fellow of the Regional Studies Association and has a long-standing interest in the institutions and politics of urban and regional development. He is widely published in a range of leading international journals and has an established track record of undertaking research on regional governance, devolution and local growth.


The Northern Powerhouse as a ‘State Spatial Strategy’
Since its launch in 2014, the Conservative’s Northern Powerhouse initiative has proved politically influential in framing the policy debate on regional development in England, triggering copycat initiatives from other regions. This paper aims to provide a theoretical and political analysis of the NPh as part of a broader state strategy for governing and managing uneven regional development in the UK. In particular, the paper seeks to interpret and understand the NPh through the lens of spatially-sensitive strategic-relational state theory. The paper argues that the NPh represents a ‘state spatial strategy’ for the North of England, comprised of an accumulation strategy and hegemonic project.


Andy Pike is the Henry Daysh Professor of Regional Development Studies in the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS). His research interests, publications and research projects are focused on the geographical political economy of local, regional and urban development and policy. He has undertaken research projects for the OECD, UN-ILO, European Commission, UK Government and national, regional and local institutions. He is a Fellow of the Regional Studies Association and an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences.


Financialising city statecraft and infrastructure?
Financialising City Statecraft and Infrastructure addresses the struggles of national and local states to fund, finance and govern urban infrastructure. It develops fresh thinking on financialisation and city statecraft to explain the socially and spatially uneven mixing of managerial, entrepreneurial and financialised city governance in austerity and limited decentralisation across England. As urban infrastructure fixes for the London global city-region risk undermining national 'rebalancing' efforts in the UK, city state-craft in the rest of the country is having uneasily to combine speculation, risk-taking and prospective venturing with co-ordination, planning and regulation.