Urban and Regional Strategies: RSA Conference Session

I have been asked to chair one session of three papers at the Regional Studies Association European Conference in May. The session goes under the slightly obtuse title: Shaping and Reshaping Europe 3: Urban and Regional Strategies and Conceptualisations

The papers, (all from English universities) are as follows:

The rise of non-state urban and regional strategies, by  John Harrison, Loughborough University,

Critiquing the contemporary relevance of ‘Assemblages of Power’, by Sarah Ayres, University of Bristol,

Austerity and the new Landscape of Urban Governance, by Gordon MacLeod, Durham University.

Each of the papers are concerned with critical reflections on the politics of contemporary processes of urban and regional strategy-making, and in particular the role of private sector economic actors in processes of collective governance. While Harrison and Ayres focus primarily on new conceptualisations of processes of regional and local governance in the UK, MacLeod takes a broader perspective and makes a plea for a rethinking of established analytical frameworks of urban governance in light of the current experiences of austerity politics in Europe. It promises to be a stimulating, theoretically-rich session with high level of critical debate (provided it is not scheduled for 8:00 am on the final day!).


Note this session now contains just two papers (by (Harrison and Ayres). It will take place on Tuesday (07/05) at 16:30.

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