England's South East is the most affluent and privileged place in the UK. Yet it is also the most institutionally weak and geographically divided of all the English regions. And while all the English regions are to some extent unnatural artifices, the South East is defined mainly in relation to an external space: London. The new, post-1997 regional bodies - RDAs, Regional Assemblies and expanded Government Offices - have the task of constructing and legitimizing an institutional framework that is unable to incorporate the heart of the regional economy in the capital city. There is as a result little popular support in the South East for regional government, and limited pan-regional cohesion among elites (which tend to have a fragmented, local focus). Incentives for a fuller regional mobilization may, though, emerge as a defensive strategy to prevent the migration of resources to more coherent and economically disadvantaged northern regions.
|Translated title of the contribution||England's problem region: Regionalism in the South East|
|Pages (from-to)||733 - 741|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|