Global region without a global city? The case of South East England


This paper forms part of a series of papers investigating how a handful of European regions responded, in most cases successfully, to deepening global economic integration during the period 1995-2005. This particular case considers the response of the English region comprising the territories of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Milton Keynes (the ‘UKJ1 region’) located to the immediate West and Northwest of Greater London. It investigates why this region was able to exploit deepening global integration as well as it did, even though it does not have a major urban centre at its territorial core. It also asks what lessons the region’s experience holds for other European regions. The messages to emerge from the case study are that the UKJ1 region’s success in leveraging these global flows is inextricably linked to its functional interdependence with Greater London and that, to the extent policy factors played a role in this integration process, central government policy-making played a significantly more important role than regional government policy making. The messages to other European regions then are: (i) to consider and cultivate all kinds of links between regions on the periphery of major national urban centres and those urban centres themselves; and (ii) to communicate clearly and forcefully the strengths and vulnerabilities of individual regions to the national level policy-makers responsible for the pace of global integration.


Grover, D. June 2011. Global region without a global city? The case of South East England. Regional Science Policy and Practice, v.4, pp.65-81.