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Decentering the Nation
A radical approach to regional inequality

By Ash Amin, Doreen Massey and Nigel Thrift

A Catalyst Paper.
Published: September 2003
ISBN: 1 904508 07 3
Paperback: 48 pages

One of the most persistent characteristics of the geography of the United Kingdom is the wide inequality that exists between its constituent regions. In the present period, in spite of many stated intentions and much government rhetoric to the contrary, it has on many measures grown considerably worse.

This pamphlet argues that it will continue to do so unless there is a more serious engagement with the power dynamics that underlie this fundamentally unequal and undemocratic geography: dynamics that continue to return London and the South East as the centre of the nation. In the absence of both a systematic attack on the spatial concentration of power, and a radical re-imagination of the nature of regions in an age of geographical connectivity and flow, the concessions on offer in the current debate on devolution and region-building will amount to little more than a pin-prick in tackling the alarming regional inequality and political centrism that currently exists in Britain.

Ash Amin is Professor of Geography and Head of Department at the University of Durham. Doreen Massey is Professor of Geography at the Open University and co-editor of the journal Soundings. Nigel Thrift is Professor of Geography at the University of Bristol.

Read Executive Summary

"Study points civil servants towards the regions" - The Guardian, 10 September 2003

Interim Report of the Review of Public Sector Relocation - HM Treasury, 9 September 2003

"Think-tank argues for 'Whitehall in the regions'" - Public Finance, 5 September 2003

"A place in the country" - Public Finance, 5 September 2003

"Plan to send ministers to the regions - permanently" - The Guardian, 3 September 2003

"Devolve Whitehall, urges think tank" - ePolitix, 3 September 2003


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Pamphlets cost £5 each and are available from Central Books. They can be ordered by credit card on 020 8986 4854 or by cheque from: Central Books, 99 Wallis Road, London, E9 5LN (plus 75p p&p). They are also available by subscription.

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