The Place Dimension of Cities and Regions: Governance, Industrial Development and Sustainability
- The Cohesion Policy of the European Union after the Economic Crisis & Brexit: Back to National Regional Policies?: Regional Studies Journal Roundtable
- City Economic Evolutions
The Cohesion Policy of the European Union after the Economic Crisis & Brexit: Back to National Regional Policies?
Regional Studies Journal Roundtable
Ugo Fratesi, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
The decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union (EU) is expected to foster a 360-degree scholarly and policy debate on the Union and its future. Two fundamental points deserve special attention in this context. First, the net benefits (if any) generated by the process of European Integration and EU policies need to be carefully identified and measured. Second, the value added of a supra-national EU-wide approach to the design and implementation of public policies deserves a re-assessment and its governance has to re-discussed. Brexit has made apparent that a re-nationalisation of existing EU policies is an increasingly appealing option to politicians and voters dissatisfied with the status quo of EU politics and policy making and frustrated by the enduring socio-economic and industrial development consequences of the 2008 crisis.
This roundtable aims to contribute to this debate by looking at the EU Cohesion Policy. In particular the discussion will be centered on the impacts of Cohesion Policy by exploring the relevance of the context and in particular of individual member states in determining success and failure in different areas. How do impacts vary across member states? How important are local and national-level characteristics and policy-choices in shaping the benefits produced by the policy and their distribution? Which countries have been more successful in delivering benefits to their less-developed regions also in terms of industrial development? Why? Ultimately, would the re-nationalisation of EU Cohesion Policy powers and responsibility deliver more flexibility and ultimately a better more effective policy to EU citizens?
The proposed roundtable draws on the knowledge-base that is being developed by a large team of researchers working on this topic for a Special Issue for Regional Studies edited by the proponents that will be finalized before the RSA Winter Conference. A Special Session organized at the RSA2017 Conference in Dublin has also offered useful opportunities for debate to be further developed in this roundtable, contributing to the interaction between scholarly and policy debates.
Moderator: Riccardo Crescenzi, London School of Economics, UK
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City Economic Evolutions
Ron Martin, University of Cambridge, UK
Cities continue to be a key focus of academic research and policy interest. And for good reason. Cities are the main loci of economic production, consumption, employment and trade, and play a central role in national economic and political life. They also serve as the main nodes of the global economy. How city economies have changed and been transformed over recent decades, and how they will meet the challenges of a highly unstable and uncertain future, are thus important issues for research. The evidence from different countries suggests that cities have in fact diverged in recent years in terms of economic prosperity and adaptation. The three papers in this session examine some aspects of this uneven performance as it relates to some 85 British cities over 1971-2014, drawing on an ongoing major research programme into city economic evolutions. The first paper examines the resilience of British cities to major economic shocks, specifically the major recessions of 1979-82, 1990-1992 and 2008-2010, and the possible impact of Brexit. The second paper studies the changing occupational trajectories of these same cities, to assess whether and to what extent their human capital structures have been converging or diverging, and what impact this has had on their economic growth. In the final presentation, five case study cities from across Britain are used to explore the role that policy and institutions have played in shaping city growth paths. Although the empirics of these papers relate to the British case, the issues addressed and arguments deployed have a much wider relevance, to cities elsewhere.
Papers to be presented
1. The Resilience of Cities to Economic Shocks (Ron Martin, Ben Gardiner, Peter Sunley and Emil Evenhuis)
2. In Search of the Skilled City: Human Capital, Job Polarisation and the Occupational Evolution of British Cities (Peter Sunley, Ben Gardiner, Ron Martin and Peter Tyler
3. Policies, Institutions and City Economic Evolution: A Tale of Five British Cities (Andy Pike, David Bailey and Emi Evenhuis)
4. General Discussion: Questions and Answers
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