[PSA Specialist Group on British and Comparative Political Economy] The politics of devolution and the Northern Powerhouse

Time Slot: 
Wednesday 23rd March 13:30 - 15:00
Panel Chair: 
  • Professor Helen Thompson (University of Cambridge)
Panel Discussant: 
  • Dr Arianna Giovannini (De Montfort University)
Panel Members: 
  • Dr Daniel Bailey (University of York)
  • Professor Martin Smith (University of York)
  • Professor David Richards (University of Manchester)
  • Dr Craig Berry (Manchester Metropolitan University)

[This panel is proposed by the new PSA specialist group on British and comparative political economy, convened by Dr Craig Berry and Dr Jeremy Green, which will be formally established in advance of the 2016 conference.]

Devolution to cities in the North of England and the upgrading of the transportation networks between them are the central pillars of George Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse conception; presented in part as a response to the continuation of uneven development and the failure of economic re-balancing in the UK.  These dual agenda have the potential to significantly transform Britain’s constitutional settlement, its economic governance and its political economy over the next decade. This panel seeks to critically analyse the merits, risks and limits of this political and economic re-structuring. It will explore the nature of the devolution being rolled out to places such as Manchester and Sheffield, the implications for those cities and the country at large, and question whether these changes constitute an appropriate response to the root causes of uneven development and democratic disaffection underpinning the ascension of devolution up the political agenda.