Call for Papers: 'City Region Governance, Ten Years On'

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RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2011
31 August - 2 September 2011

Session organizers: John Harrison and Michael Hoyler (GaWC/CRIGS, Loughborough University)

Co-sponsored by the Urban Geography and Planning & Environment Research Groups


It is ten years since Allen Scott's edited collection Global City-Regions became the antecedent to a resurgence of interest in city-regions. In this volume, Scott and others conceptually mapped and empirically demonstrated how, for them, there was a new and critically important kind of geography and institutional phenomenon on the world stage – the global city-region. In so doing, they went on to argue that processes of global economic integration and accelerated urbanisation – the defining features of globalization – are serving to make traditional planning and policy strategies ‘increasingly inadequate'. This focus on governance is important given that while city-regions are identified as the important scale of urban organisation in globalization, the pace of change (especially their unrelenting expansion in size, scale and number) means these pivotal social formations are often reliant on outdated and inadequate institutional structures, frameworks and supports. Perhaps not surprisingly, the past decade has witnessed a growing interest among policy elites in city-regions and their governance across the globe. England, for example, has witnessed the emergence in recent years of the Northern Way, City/Economic Development Companies, Multi-Area Agreements, statutory city-regions, and most recently under the Coalition Government, Local Enterprise Partnerships. By its very nature this and other theoretical and policy developments are raising as many new questions as they are providing answers to key questions surrounding city-regions and their governance. Ten years on it appears particularly apt that we should revisit some of these key questions in a global context.

Papers are therefore welcomed that attempt to understand the main governance tasks city-regions face today, as well as more provocative think-pieces that challenge or defend the foundations upon which the city-region orthodoxy has been constructed.

Potential topics/themes of interest might include, but are not limited to:

  • Theoretical interventions and/or empirical studies that seek to advance new ways of conceptualising city-regions and their governance;
  • Papers that interrogate the implications of recent urban change for planning, policy and action in city-regions;
  • Global comparative perspectives on geographies of polycentricity/polycentric city-regions;
  • Models of city-region governance – their successes and failures;
  • Opportunities for, and barriers to, operating across a functional geography;
  • Papers which can shed light on the political construction of city-regions, that is, attempts to define, delimit, and designate city-regions.
  • The role of city-regions in national and international political-economy.

Expressions of interest from potential contributors should be sent to John Harrison ( and Michael Hoyler ( in the form of a 250 word abstract by Friday 11th February 2011.