Beyond the territorial fix: Regional assemblages, politics and power

Allen, John and Cochrane, Allan (2007). Beyond the territorial fix: Regional assemblages, politics and power. Regional Studies, 41(9) pp. 1161–1175.



The idea of regions as territorially fixed in some vital political sense is a stubborn conception, one that is both mobilized to pursue selective interests and to establish regional identities. To assert that regions are political constructs, however, is not to say that such bounded, territorial entities enclose all the political relations that produce them. This paper puts forward a relational view of the region based upon an assemblage of political actors, some public, some private, where elements of central and local government are 'lodged' within the region, not acting above or below it. Using examples drawn from governing agencies across and beyond the south-east of England, it is shown how a more diffuse form of governance has given rise to a spatially discontinuous region. This is grounded in an exposition of the political assemblage that is Milton Keynes today, with its provisional, cross-cutting mix of institutional agencies, partnerships, businesses and interest groupings engaged in a 'politics of scale' exercise to fix the region.

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