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English regionalism through the looking glass: perspectives on the English Question from the North-East and Cornwall

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The Government's now-defunct plans for elected regional assemblies in England were principally economic and administrative in focus, and therefore paid little attention to perceptions of regional culture or identity and therefore to questions over regional boundaries. A comparison of two regions of England-Cornwall and the North-East-indicates that regional identity played some role in each. In Cornwall, which is not a standard region, regional campaigners began with an almost ethnonationalist perspective and refocused their campaign on economic and administrative issues. In the North-East, shared economic history and experience characterised the early campaigns, and less successful attempts were made to extrapolate regional identity from this. This relates to historical Labour Party uneasiness about territorial identity, a factor that is far less present in Cornwall.

Keywords: Cornwall; Devolution; North-East; Regional Economics; Regional Identity; Regionalism

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14608940600571347

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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