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State-led restructuring of sub-national economic governance and regeneration has been rapidly evolving over the past year or so across England. With several waves of cross-boundary Local Enterprise Partnerships approved by the UK Government, it is opportune to take stock of some of the more notable shifts. Building on a preliminary analytical mapping of the rocky road from regionalism to sub-regional localism, the paper pays particular attention to the politicised process underpinning the alliances, and crafting, development and subsequent submission of LEP proposals, as well as the eventual assessment and state sanctioning of LEP bids. Examining the process from a variety of perspectives, the paper highlights unequal power relations and extracts a number of powerful policy considerations. The paper propounds the argument that the rhetoric of permissive policy masks centralist controlling tendencies and unwritten rules.
Pugalis, L. (2011) 'Look before you LEP', Journal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal, 5 (1), 7-22.