Contesting the politics of neoliberal resilience: regional labour market resilience from a workers’ perspective

Tony Dobbins, Alexandra Plows

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The concept of resilience has been captured by a neoliberal discourse displacing responsibility to individuals and regions. This article specifically examines the regional labour market resilience of workers and other regional stakeholders relating to an ongoing economic restructuring process of deindustrialization and redundancies in Anglesey, North West Wales, in the UK. Using 11 years of longitudinal qualitative research, we provide an empirical narrative that applies a labour market resilience framework (challenge, context, responses and outcomes) from a workers’ perspective. It connects the empirical findings from this critical case study to broader generalizability for regional studies and regional policy implications. Regarding generalizability to regional studies theory, the labour market resilience of workers is impacted at different but interlinking levels: the global systemic level of neo-liberal capitalism; the national country level of institutional varieties of capitalism (liberal market economies versus coordinated market economies); and regional variations across countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-40
Number of pages15
JournalRegional Studies
Issue number1
Early online date25 Apr 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

The research was supported by The British Academy and Leverhulme Trust [SG130159 2013 Round: Anticipatory Responses to Redundancy in the Welsh Nuclear Power Industry].


  • deindustrialization
  • labour market
  • neo-liberalism
  • regional resilience
  • Wales
  • workers


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