Regional governance in England: past experience, future directions?

John Mawson (Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Publication date: 28 August 2007



To present a paper which examine the UK's approach to devolution in respect of the English regions.


The paper seeks to understand the policy choices facing the UK Government in redesigning governance arrangements in the English regions. This is achieved by an analysis of the evolution of regional governance arrangements in the past decade drawing on secondary and semi‐structured interviews undertaken by the author.


Regional governance arrangements evolved in an ad hoc manner due to the government's focus on the establishment of elected regional assemblies. In this policy vacuum existing regional institutions succeeded in establishing effective working relationships. However, with an increasing focus on cities as the engines of regional growth and the pressures to devolve responsibilities to local government the existing institutional policy framework has increasingly been challenges.

Research limitations/implications

The paper critically examines different policy choices for reforming regional governance.

Practical implications

Drawing on research and consultancy studies undertaken by the author for the English Regions Network, individual Regional Assemblies, the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, the Cabinet Office and the Economic and Social Research Council, the paper explores issues of policy development and implementation at the regional level.


The paper presents a comprehensive overarching analysis in a complex field of territorial public policy.



Mawson, J. (2007), "Regional governance in England: past experience, future directions?", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 20 No. 6, pp. 548-566.

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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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