Dr. Martin Quinn
University of Leicester, UK
'The Search for the Social Contract in England’s Regions’
This project will use Social Contract theory to investigate (the lack of) engagement with sub-national institutions and policies in England.It will do this by using a case study of the Leicestershire region and analysing data through the lens of Social Contract Theory (principally through the work of Rousseau, Hobbes and Locke). The project is one of the first to use Social Contract Theory to analyse regional studies data and this will develop our empirical understanding of how sub-national governance can engage with the local population and business community in these ways to form the networks that drive local economies. The use of Social Contract Theory allows for new theoretical insights which will extend regional studies theories relating to network building, trust and regional leadership. Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau argued that it is only when it is clear to the population that a government or institution can provide them with protection and prosperity that they will submit to their authority.