City regions and decent work: Politics, pluralism and policy making in Greater Manchester

Mat Johnson, Miguel Martinez Lucio, Stephen Mustchin, Damian Grimshaw, Kimberley Cartwright, Jenny Rodriguez, Tony Dundon

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Despite a growing body of literature examining the politics of city-regionalism, the questionof how local actors engage with, and challenge each other in the subnational regulatory spacerequires greater attention if we are to develop a more comprehensive understanding ofsupposedly pluralist approaches to policy making. This paper critically evaluates policyinnovations in Greater Manchester (GM) that seek to steer the behaviour of economic actorstowards a mutually reinforcing model of decent work and social inclusion. We argue thatunderneath the expansive political agenda of the GM metro mayor, what has emerged so far isa relatively shallow form of consensus-based neo-pluralism that allows for elite consultationover issues of inclusive growth and responsible business rather than more radicallyredistributive or participatory policies. The implications for our understanding of the changingand often contradictory role of the state in shaping subnational regulation and governance arediscussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironment and Planning C: Politics and Space
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2022


  • city regions, decent work, devolution, economic policy, pluralism, soft regulation


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