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Localism is an illusion (of power): the multi-scalar challenge of UK enterprise policy-making

Cristian Gherhes, Chay Brooks and Tim Vorley

Regional Studies, 2020, vol. 54, issue 8, 1020-1031

Abstract: This paper explores to what extent the new localism has effectively empowered local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) and local communities to deliver localized, place-based enterprise policy at the subnational level. It identifies externally imposed constraints on local enterprise policy-making that have seen this reoriented towards the support of high-growth potential businesses. However, the scope and focus of enterprise policy at the LEP level contrast with heterogeneous local realities and needs, highlighting a pronounced rhetoric–reality gap. With little evidence of local knowledge transcending policy boundaries, the paper reveals that the current arrangements constrain local agency and reduce the effectiveness of enterprise policy-making at the local level. It concludes that the power to develop localized, place-based enterprise policy exists only in rhetoric.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2019.1678745

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