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Book review: Levelling Up Left Behind Places

This is a summary prepared by Regions ezine Editorial Team based on the Foreword of Regional Studies Policy Impact Books  by Diane Coyle – Volume 3, 2021 – Issue 2: Levelling Up Left Behind Places: The Scale and Nature of the Economic and Policy Challenge

Addressing the gap in employment and incomes, in opportunities, between and within different places, has become the defining challenge in UK politics and policy, as in some other Western countries. As this important contribution demonstrates, the policies implemented during the past four decades have—at best—failed to limit or reduce spatial inequalities, while some (such as infrastructure investments and privatizations) have helped increase them. Yet policy, active intervention by the state, is the only way to level up, given the spillovers and market failures inherent in the process of economic growth.

The UK faced these significant challenges before March 2020, having experienced stagnant productivity and growth since the 2008 global financial crisis. The Covid-19 pandemic has made them more acute, having exacerbated all the spatial inequalities scarring our society. It has also made us more aware of the likelihood of further crises, whether future pandemics, climate-related extreme weather, technological disruptions, or other shocks unimagined. The questions addressed in this book, therefore, could not be more important or urgent, and both the analysis and policy issues discussed herein make a key contribution to the “levelling up” debate.

About the author

Diane Coyle, is Bennett Professor of Public Policy, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

Content of Issue 2: Levelling Up Left Behind Places: The Scale and Nature of the Economic and Policy Challenge

Diane Coyle (2021) Foreword, Regional Studies Policy Impact Books, 3:2, 1-2, DOI: 10.1080/2578711X.2021.1992161

Ron Martin, Ben Gardiner, Andy Pike, Peter Sunley & Peter Tyler (2021) Executive Summary and Key Recommendations, Regional Studies Policy Impact Books, 3:2, 7-10, DOI: 10.1080/2578711X.2021.1992164

Ron Martin, Ben Gardiner, Andy Pike, Peter Sunley & Peter Tyler (2021) 1. Introduction: The New Discourse of “Left Behind Places”, Regional Studies Policy Impact Books, 3:2, 11-28, DOI: 10.1080/2578711X.2021.1992165

Ron Martin, Ben Gardiner, Andy Pike, Peter Sunley & Peter Tyler (2021) 2. Becoming “Left Behind”: How Places have Grown Apart, Regional Studies Policy Impact Books, 3:2, 29-51, DOI: 10.1080/2578711X.2021.1992168

Ron Martin, Ben Gardiner, Andy Pike, Peter Sunley & Peter Tyler (2021) 3. Why Places have Fallen Behind: The Geographically Uneven Effects of Economic Transformation, Regional Studies Policy Impact Books, 3:2, 53-72, DOI: 10.1080/2578711X.2021.1992169

Ron Martin, Ben Gardiner, Andy Pike, Peter Sunley & Peter Tyler (2021) 4. Economic Shocks and the Differential Resilience of Places, Regional Studies Policy Impact Books, 3:2, 73-85, DOI: 10.1080/2578711X.2021.1992170

Ron Martin, Ben Gardiner, Andy Pike, Peter Sunley & Peter Tyler (2021) 5. Learning from Past Policies for “Levelling Up” and “Left Behind Places” in the UK, Regional Studies Policy Impact Books, 3:2, 87-106, DOI: 10.1080/2578711X.2021.1992171

Ron Martin, Ben Gardiner, Andy Pike, Peter Sunley & Peter Tyler (2021) 6. Institutions and Policies for “Levelling Up” and “Left Behind Places”, Regional Studies Policy Impact Books, 3:2, 107-135, DOI: 10.1080/2578711X.2021.1992172