Managing local labour markets and making up new spaces of welfare

Cochrane, Allan and Etherington, David (2007). Managing local labour markets and making up new spaces of welfare. Environment and Planning A, 39(12) pp. 2958–2974.



The dissolution of the old mechanisms of state welfare has not yet led to the generation of a new welfare settlement, although the rise of neoliberalism and of what Jessop has called the Schumpeterian Competition State have highlighted some key directions of change. The importance of geographical inequality and unevenness to the process of reshaping welfare has been widely recognised, and the fragmentation and decentralisation of employment and social policies are giving rise to the production of new welfare spaces, which institutionalise the new arrangements, helping to make up neoliberalism in practice. These issues are discussed with the help of case studies of two contrasting areas: Sheffield, a city recently experiencing economic restructuring and high levels of labour-market adjustment and employment deprivation; and Milton Keynes, a city which has been a growth area within the South East since the 1960s and which is earmarked for further employment and the location of planned population and employment growth. The ways in which new welfare spaces are being produced is explored through a consideration of the configuration of partnerships around the governance of workfare, welfare, and competitiveness within these cities.

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