Mechanisms of metagovernance as structural challenges to levelling up in England

Jack Newman, Simon Collinson, Nigel Driffield, Nigel Gilbert, Charlotte Hoole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


At the time of writing, the UK government is attempting to tackle place-based inequality through its ‘levelling up’ agenda. To be effective, such interventions require local institutions with the capacity, powers, and budgets to develop and implement long-term strategies. Multi-level metagovernance, the ongoing reorganisation of local governance systems by the central state, has become a salient political process in England, characterised by fragmented system design, distorted local strategies, micromanagement and mistrustful central–local relations. These various problems are underpinned by a problematic combination of quasi-markets and state hierarchy. Together, these metagovernance mechanisms significantly constrain local capacity to deliver economic development.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRegional Studies
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2023


  • Metagovernance
  • English devolution
  • levelling up
  • spatial inequality
  • spatial rebalancing
  • decentralisation
  • governance


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