Virtual Cabinet of Curiosities

35. Regional disparity in the UK, Dr John Harrison

We live in an increasingly globalised world, but are we more united or divided as a result? One widely circulated story is that global forces are weakening local identities. Another, contrasting story, is that local identities are becoming more, not less, important.

As a regional geographer, the UK provides a fascinating case study to research these tensions: economically, regional divides are starker than ever before (Did you know that for every job created in the North since 2004, twelve were created in the South?); culturally, there has been a resurgence of regional nationalism; and politically, the creation of new institutions like the Scottish Parliament reflect dramatic changes in the way we do politics.

I am fascinated by how questions over the future of the UK are ‘regional’ questions and whether growing regional divides are a consequence of global forces or national political decisions.

More about John's research

Map with cartoon showing regional disparity in the UK