The ‘imaginary’ challenge of remaking subnational governance: regional identity and contested city-region-building in the UK

Cristian Gherhes, Charlotte Hoole, Tim Vorley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

With the structuring of subnational governance driven primarily by economic goals, an issue that has become increasingly overlooked is that of identity. Drawing on interviews with stakeholders from the Sheffield City Region, the paper builds on Jones and Woods’ framework of 2013 of ‘material’ and ‘imagined’ coherence, demonstrating the ‘imaginary’ challenge of remaking subnational governance in the context of rescaling from regions to city-regions. It shows that historical regional identities can persist even in the absence of associated material components of governance, and that rescaling can create asymmetries between material and imagined coherence, resulting in competing imaginaries that hinder the new subnational arrangements.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalRegional Studies
Early online date28 Apr 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Apr 2022

Keywords

  • regional identity
  • subnational governance
  • city-region
  • devolution
  • spatial imaginaries
  • local governance

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