From problems in the North to the problematic North: Northern devolution through the lens of history

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Publication details

Title of host publicationDeveloping England's North
DateAccepted/In press - 10 Mar 2017
DatePublished (current) - 29 Nov 2017
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
EditorsCraig Berry, Arianna Giovannini
Original languageEnglish

Publication series

NameBuilding a Sustainable Political Economy


Current debates about Northern English cities and their role in national economic strategies cannot be read simply through the lens of contemporary politics. We therefore take the Northern Powerhouse as our starting point in a chapter which traces a long history of policy and planning discourses about the North of England. We use David Russell’s chronology of key historical moments in which Northern English cities hold a particular charge in cultural narratives of the nation to guide our analysis of contemporaneous tensions in debates about planning and governance. A focus on representations about the North of England over the course of the last two centuries reveals four interlocking themes: namely the role of London in directing debates about the North; a tension between political and spatial approaches to planning; the characterisation of cities in the North of England as intrinsically problematic places; and the continued issue of poverty in these cities.

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