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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Localism and locality: thinking about the geographies of public policy Seminar

16:00 - 17:00
8 February 2012
Building 44 Room 2103

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Dr Nick Clarke at .

Event details

Geography and Environment seminar

The appearance of ‘localism' as a political project (as expressed, for example, in the form of the Localism Act 2011) is a relatively recent phenomenon, associated with the formation of a Coalition government for the UK in June 2010. It is one of the rhetorical devices around which the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have been able to align themselves - an apparently shared project but one that is sufficiently flexible to allow each to imagine it slightly differently.

 But there is a much longer geographical tradition in which locality and the local have been central concerns. The extent to which a local politics is possible in a globalising world and even whether the hollowing out of the nation state may have left local politics as more rather than less significant in such a world have been the focus of attention. Thinking about how local politics might be conceptualised - in terms of growth coalitions, growth machines, as part of a dual state, as spaces of pluralist or community politics, through their linkages to elsewhere - has been debated intensely over the last few decades.

Here an attempt is made to bring the contemporary politics of localism and the geographical debates together, to consider whether the latter may be of assistance in understanding the former and the extent to which localism is more than a convenient peg on which to hang a temporary political alliance.

Speaker information

Allan Cochrane, Faculty of Social Sciences. Open University

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