Building regional ‘goodwill’: On the financialization of sub-national economic governance

Jacob Salder

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Subnational economic governance has witnessed ongoing transformation as part of what is argued as a financialization of the policy process. Within England, recent reform has seen two specific tendencies: a transformation attempting greater integration between industrial structure and subnational spaces; and more entrepreneurial practices incorporating businesses as key actors. Here, city-regional agglomeration models have been adopted to activate internal resource. This paper explores the effect of these changes on policy continuity amongst constituent parts of the city-region through the concept of goodwill. It focuses on the Greater Birmingham and Solihull region of the UK and its relationship with a constituent locality: Southern Staffordshire. It argues reform has redrawn the subnational map with greater sensitivity around industrial structure. Adapting modes of financializing the governance process, however, using city-regions’ presumed benefits around competitiveness and efficiency, frame this sensitivity. A form of goodwill has thus emerged founded around compliance with orthodox city-regional interpretations, supplementing financial shortfalls yet reinforcing further space–policy separation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRegional Studies, Regional Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2020


  • Sub-national economic governance
  • City-regions
  • Financialization
  • Goodwill
  • Spatial economy


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