Fragmented Regional Worlds: Inequality and Populism in a Globalising World
- S1. City and Regional Deal-Making, Intergovernmental Contractual Relations and Multi-Level Governance
- S2. You are where you eat? What role for geography, spatial planning and regional development in the quest for healthier and more sustainable food systems
- S3. Organising the 21st Century City
- S4. Regional and Urban Leadership in an Era of Globalisation and De Globalisation
S1. City and Regional Deal-Making, Intergovernmental Contractual Relations and Multi-Level Governance
Lee Pugalis, Institute for Public Policy & Governance, UTS firstname.lastname@example.org
The evolutionary project of city and regional development could be approaching a ‘contractual turn’ characterised by multilateral parties negotiating place-based deals. Regional Growth Agreements, Growth Deals, Regional Contracts, Territorial Pacts, Territorial Development Contracts, Devolution Deals and Rural Contracts are some of the policy terms coined in different countries to describe initiatives that are intended to accelerate the growth and development of particular urban, rural and regional places via a deal-making approach that seeks to orchestrate the activities of diverse sectoral interests and multiple tiers of government. Throughout Australia, the contractual turn is exemplified through recent moves to implement City Deals, and Regional Jobs and Investment Packages. This follows in the footsteps of international practice, such as the successive waves of French State Regional Plan Contracts developed since the 1980s.
The notion of place-based deals refers to a wide range of relational and transactional contractual mechanisms, repertoires and practices utilised in the negotiation and agreement of bespoke ‘settlements’ intended to work with the particularities of place. Place-based deals are, thus, a tool for policy alignment and coordination, local empowerment and capacity building, collaboration and communication, and learning. Concoctions of customised and generic incentives and conditionalities are deployed to encourage the realisation of policy objectives, such as, vertical and horizontal coordination, multi-actor cooperation, co-investment, and collaborative governance.
The content of deals or agreements is open to immense variation, although most tend to include funding packages and access to finance. Moreover, some new forms of deals, such as Devolution Deals in England, put more emphasis on the decentralisation of responsibilities, enhanced policy flexibilities and personalised fiscal tools subject to an acceptance of central government conditions, such as democratically elected leadership arrangements. The geography of deals also varies significantly. Some are based on a single municipal boundary (e.g. Liverpool Mayoral City Deal), whereas others are sub-regional/sub-metropolitan (e.g. Western Sydney City Deal) and regional (e.g. the Canada-Manitoba Economic Partnership Agreement).
In theory, place-based deals exhibit the potential to fold together separate powers, responsibilities, funds, programmes and expertise into a cohesive ‘package’ tailored to the needs and capabilities of a particular place. Proponents suggest that this reconciles top-down objectives and bottom-up preferences which can engender place-based policies, although critics point to the imbalances of power in negotiating deals which can devolve risks, disguise central control and manipulation, and exacerbate spatial disparities.
The purpose of this session is to bring together an internationally diverse group of researchers and policy-makers to investigate the process and implications of place-based deal-making. Conceptual, empirical and policy perspectives that consider the following topics, amongst others, are welcomed:
The framing, logic and nature of place-based deals and geohistorical antecedents.
The role of place, national and subnational differences, and comparative analyses.
Place-based and space-blind characteristics of deals.
Contractual relations, including the crafting, negotiation, agreement and unravelling of deals.
Deal-making brokers, anchor institutions and place-based leaders.
The content, stability, flexibility, adaptability and operation of deals, including incentives, conditionalities and contractual mechanisms.
The geographies of deals and asymmetric policy-making.
The politics and governance of deal-making, path dependency and track records.
Participation, transparency, commercial confidentiality, scrutiny and accountability of deal-making.
The role of independent oversight and de facto regulators.
The capacities of actors, information and power asymmetries, and intergovernmental and inter-organisational relations.
Metagovernance and power relations.
Cooperation and contestation between coalitions of public, private and voluntary actors.
Deal-making innovations, diffusion and replication.
Contracting as a learning process.
Policy outcomes, risks and repercussions.
This special session will connect with debates at the ‘Place-Based Deal-Making’ special session of The Great Regional Awakening: New Directions RSA Conference, 4th – 7th June 2017, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.
A selection of papers will be considered for chapter contributions for an edited book on place-based deal-making scheduled for publication in 2018.
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S2. You are where you eat? What role for geography, spatial planning and regional development in the quest for healthier and more sustainable food systems
Bill Pritchard, School of Geosciences, University of Sydney email@example.com
Elspeth Probyn, School of Gender and Cultural Studies, University of Sydney firstname.lastname@example.org
Teresa Davis, Business School, University of Sydney email@example.com
Belinda Reeve, Law School, University of Sydney firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexandra Jones, George Institute for Public Health, email@example.com
The aim of this session is to create an arena for cross-disciplinary consideration of how complex geographical factors help influence patterns of food production and consumption, within an overall agenda of seeking to promote healthier and more sustainable food systems. We welcome a broad range of papers including (but not limited to): the influence of environmental factors in diet and health; the potential use of urban and regional planning tools to alter production and consumption systems; the politics, economics and sociology of localism and regional food branding; the role of place in the creation, evolution and transformation of food cultures; spatial difference and inequality in diets and access to foods; food miles and sustainability metrics in the food syatem.
The session dovetails with the broader conference theme, which is to assess the varied manifestations of regional inequality and fragmentation in the contemporary world. It is co-sponsored by the Sydney Environment Institute, the Australian Food Society and Culture Network, and the Food Governance Node of the Charles Perkins Centre.
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S3. Organising the 21st Century City
Chair and presenter: Prof John Keane
Dr Amanda Tattersall
Assistant Prof Kurt Iveson
Cities are undergoing radical transformation as they struggle to address the economic, social and environmental challenges of the ‘urban age’. What is the role of citizens in actively shaping and directing these transformations? In a growing number of cities, citizens are channeling frustration with existing citizen engagement processes into the creation of urban alliances that bring together diverse civil society actors to articulate and pursue common interests. The intention of such alliances is to enable citizens to play a proactive role in the shaping of their cities. But these alliances are not the same, possessing different features across various regions of the world as each political and economic context creates a different landscape for subaltern politics. The formation of these alliances raises many questions. Why are they occurring? What are the various differences in urban alliances between cities around the world and why have these differences emerged? How do they relate to different governance and political party structures? When are alliances more or less likely to be successful in changing the city? And what does “changing the city” really mean for different urban alliances?
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S4. Regional and Urban Leadership in an Era of Globalisation and De Globalisation
Over the past five years there has been an increasing focus on the need for effective leadership of cities and regions in order to deliver inclusive economic growth, sustainable development and the effective delivery of both local and national government programs. Much of this policy debate has considered the institutional framework for effective governance, with important contributions focussed on the transparency and efficiency of governmental systems, as well as the potential impact of the misallocation of resources. Recent developments in Australasia and across the developed world point to the need to broaden this discussion to consider questions of leadership in an era of globalisation and deglobalisation. There is a need to examine the political and leadership processes that support or confound economic integration and productivity growth, and how they can be strengthened to achieve shared goals. A number of policies focussed on territorial development and the achievement of social integration rely upon urban and regional leaders for their success. In some instances this has resulted in increased pressure on key individuals within the community, or on local government. These developments have also shed light on the diffuse and networked nature of leadership at the regional and urban scales, and the potential for a mismatch between the formal processes of government and community level leadership. This session will draw upon insights from across a range of contexts and case studies to examine this set of issues and identify lessons for policy makers and academics alike.
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