Meanings of policy and place: understandings of regeneration in Scotland 1988 - 2009

Matthews, Peter (2010) Meanings of policy and place: understandings of regeneration in Scotland 1988 - 2009. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis presents a policy analysis of urban regeneration policy in Scotland between 1988 and the present day, including the period when responsibility for urban policy was returned to the Scottish Parliament in 1999. It focuses on the shift from using area-based initiatives (ABIs) to deliver urban regeneration in deprived neighbourhoods to using mainstream, strategic, local-authority wide partnerships; known in Scotland as Community Planning Partnerships. Employing an interpretive policy analysis technique, the research uses a hermeneutic ontology to understand experience-near concepts (data) in dialectic with experience-distant concepts (social theory). Ethnographic fieldwork was carried out in two neighbourhoods that had been involved in the ambitious ABI New Life for Urban Scotland between 1988 and 1999 and that are still subject to regeneration initiatives: Ferguslie Park in Paisley, Renfrewshire and Wester Hailes in the City of Edinburgh. Drawing on theory from human geography, the research sets the policy change to Community Planning in the frame of a rescaling of policy and local governance upwards from neighbourhoods to a larger, mixed neighbourhood or the entire local authority area. This opens up the analysis to bring in theories from the work of Michel Foucault and Jürgen Habermas, specifically focussing on the nature and role of power and knowledge in society and modern democratic policy-making. The research has found that the policy switch to Community Planning has resulted in a rescaling of regeneration policy and governance upwards. The interpretive approach and hermeneutic ontology extends this and demonstrates that two different knowledges have now been created of regeneration policy in Scotland: the local domain and the strategic domain. The marked difference in ontology between these two ethnographic domains means that the knowledges they have and use are effectively incommensurate. This presents a barrier to the effective delivery of regeneration in contemporary Scotland and also the implementation of Community Planning as an ideal of deliberative democracy.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Regeneration, New Life for Urban Scotland, Community Planning, Scotland, Interpretive Policy Analysis
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Supervisor's Name: Hastings, Annette
Date of Award: 2010
Embargo Date: 2 May 2013
Depositing User: Dr Peter Matthews
Unique ID: glathesis:2010-1772
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2010
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:46

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