Partnerships Versus Regimes: Why Regime Theory Cannot Explain Urban Coalitions in the UK
Jonathan S. Davies
De Montfort University
April, 18 2011
Journal of Urban Affairs, Forthcoming
This study compares and contrasts urban regeneration partnerships in the UK with urban regimes in the USA. It is argued that regime theory, as developed by Elkin and Stone, neither describes nor explains the contrasting forms of collaboration in the UK. The development of urban regeneration partnerships has been driven by a combination of two main factors: the development of an ideological perception within local government elites that urban regeneration depends on market led growth, and a series of central government regeneration initiatives. These initiatives, designed to encourage and where necessary coerce local authorities into partnership working have resulted in highly bureaucratised, but symbolic, partnerships with local business elites. Business activity in these partnerships thus far has been marginal. It is unlikely to be fruitful, therefore, for scholars to seek ‘Stonean’ regimes in the UK. On the other hand, to describe such partnerships as ‘regimes’ is misleading and results in a lack of conceptual clarity. Despite the fashion for copying urban policy from the USA, the institutions of urban politics in the UK are likely to remain resolutely different.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 33Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: April 22, 2011
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