Business representation and the UK regions: Mapping institutional change

David Valler, Andrew Wood, Ian Atkinson, David Betteley, Nick Phelps, Mike Raco, Pete Shirlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Political devolution in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the developing regional agenda in England are prompting changes in the organization of business interest representation within the devolved and decentralized territories. In this paper we seek to describe the realignment of business interest representation at the 'regional' scale, first through a detailed review of changes underway across specific business associations and representative fora, and secondly through an initial attempt to compare and 'map' the patterns of institutional change recorded in the various territories. In broad terms the overall scale, operation and degree of formalization of the new political arrangements for business representation tend broadly to reflect the established institutional and political contexts of the respective nations and regions and the level of devolution ceded to the territories. However, there are important variations in a complex process of uneven development. In the concluding section we present some initial thoughts on the nature of the changes observed in the institutional framework for business representation. A key argument is that to date such changes suggest a reconfiguration of business political activity rather than a step-change in the institutional foundation for sub-national business interest representation in the UK.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-135
Number of pages61
JournalProgress in Planning
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the UK Economic and Social Research Council in funding the research project Devolution and the Politics of Representation (ESRC L219252040) upon which this paper is based.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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