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‘In the shadow of hierarchy’: meta-governance, policy reform and urban regeneration in the West Midlands

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This paper explores the relationship between political hierarchy and the complex webs of political organization associated with urban governance. Deploying the concept of meta-governance and a study of urban policy reform in the West Midlands region of England, this paper claims that state and governmental hierarchies continue to have a crucial role in coordinating the activities of governance regimes in the UK. This paper concludes by considering the effects of hierarchical power on the systems of political participation and representation that are associated with urban governance.

Keywords: West Midlands; meta-governance; political hierarchy; regional government; urban policy

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of Wales, Aberystwyth SY23 3DB, Email:

Publication date: March 1, 2003

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