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Level best? The levelling up agenda and UK regional inequality

Fransham, Mark ORCID: 0000-0002-9284-2517, Herbertson, Max, Pop, Mihaela, Bandeira Morais, Margarida and Lee, Neil ORCID: 0000-0002-4138-7163 (2022) Level best? The levelling up agenda and UK regional inequality. Working Papers (80). International Inequalities Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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‘Levelling up’ - a policy agenda focused on reducing regional inequalities - has become the new mantra in British politics. This paper reviews and critiques the agenda from its beginnings in 2019 to the publication of the 2022 Levelling Up White Paper. The agenda is an overdue recognition of gross regional inequality, and the new ‘missions’ which are set out to drive change are welcome. Yet local institutions lack capacity to deliver, there has been little genuine devolution, and the mechanisms through which the ‘missions’ will actually be delivered are unclear. Our analysis of spending commitments shows little new money has been committed, and what has been committed has tended to be through top-down competitive bids. There is a danger that levelling up becomes the latest in a list of politically useful but empty slogans which are used as a substitute for resources and devolution.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: Geography & Environment
International Inequalities Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2022 23:06
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:24

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