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Task forces and the organisation of economic development: The case of the North East region of England

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Andy Pike



The task force has emerged as a mechanism for coordinating economic development activity in the context of the current New Labour government's emphasis upon including 'stake-holders' in 'joined-up' approaches to 'crosscutting' issues. In this paper I examine the use of task forces to organise economic development at employer, sectoral, and territorial levels at the local and regional scales in the North East region of England. It is argued that New Labour's experimental use of task forces reflects a particular mediation of more general tendencies in the historical evolution of state modernisation, which varies in particular and contingent ways at the local and regional levels. The research reveals the continued importance of the existing public-sector and public - private-sector institutions, the less significant and contingent role of the private sector, and the contribution of the task force to the 'quasi-governance' of the United Kingdom, with its problems of coordination, transparency, and accountability. A renewed politics of economic development governance is required to establish the accountability and legitimacy of such bodies in the context of the emergent multilayered governance system of the UK political economy.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pike A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy

Year: 2002

Volume: 20

Issue: 5

Pages: 717-739

Print publication date: 01/10/2002

ISSN (print): 0263-774X

ISSN (electronic):


DOI: 10.1068/c23m


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