Localism and the contradictions of policy and economic philosophy

I have just been reading an interesting paper from 2013 ‘The economics behind the move to ‘localism’ in England’, by Paul Hildreth (University of Salford, and UCL, Bartlett School of Planning), and David Bailey (Coventry Business School).

In here they argue that there is a mismatch between the rhetoric of Government about Local Economic Growth and the policies which they bring forward to achieve this growth. For example, Government talks about giving more power to local areas but then sets out rules and guidance which actually restricts these freedoms, and retains real powers in the centre (and this applies to ‘recent’ Labour Governments as well as the LibDem/Conservative coalition).

In essence the political rhetoric and the policy initiatives are not effective because there is a mismatch between these and the underlying economic framework. Over the last 40 years or so there have been changes in rhetoric and policy but all have been built on a neoclassical economic philosophy which doesn’t allow the stated aims to be delivered.

This reminds me of my blog post of 1st August 2011 where I said that local economic success is affected by the success, or otherwise, of the national economy: https://stevenboxall.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/national-economy-slows-down-and-local-economies/

And of my post of 11th July 2013 where I said that it is easier to achieve local economic success if we have a climate of general and widespread economic growth: https://stevenboxall.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/local-regeneration-and-national-economic-growth/

In other words, it is difficult to deliver what is set out in the rhetoric if it, policies, and the underlying political and economic philosophy don’t all match up. And difficult to get economic growth with an economic model which restricts growth.

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