London: economic competitiveness, social cohesion and the policy environment

This project was one of four ‘integrative city studies’ within the Economic and Social Research Council’s Cities, Competitiveness and Cohesion programme.

Its focus was on: the meaning of competitiveness, cohesion and governance in the context of a complex and successful metropolitan region; London’s performance in these terms; how far change in this since the early 1980s was attributable to internationalisation and more intense forms of competition; and whether there were identifiable links between competitiveness and cohesion.

The project was led by Ian Gordon (LSE), with Nick Buck (ISER, Essex University), Peter Hall (Bartlett School, UCL and Institute for Community Studies), Michael Harloe (Salford University) and Mark Kleinman (then also at the LSE). The researchers were Belinda Brown, Karen O’Reilly, Gareth Potts, Laura Smethurst, and Jo Sparkes.

Staff member: Ian R. Gordon

Project period: 1997 to 2002

Related publications:

The main outputs of the project were a book and a summary article, both co-authored by all researchers listed above

  • Buck, N. et al. (2002) Working Capital: life and labour in contemporary London, London: Routledge
  • Gordon, I. et al. (2004) ‘London: economic competitiveness, social cohesion and the poilcy environment’ in M. Boddy and M. Parkinson (eds.) City Matters, Bristol: Policy Press

Other findings from the research are incorporated in the following:

  • Buck, N., Gordon, I., Harding, A., and Turok, I. (eds.) (December 2004) Changing Cities: re-examining urban competitiveness, cohesion and governance, Basingstoke: Palgrave
  • Davies, L. et al. (1997) The London Study: a socio-economic assessment, London: Association of London Government
  • Gordon, I. (2002) ‘Global cities, internationalisation and urban systems’, in P. McCann (ed.) Industrial Location Economics, Edward Elgar, pp. 187-206
  • Harloe, M. (2001) ‘Social justice and the city: the new “liberal formulation”‘, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 25, 889-897
  • Potts, G. (2002) ‘Competitiveness and the social fabric: links and tensions in cities’, in I. Begg (ed.) Urban Compettiveness, Bristol: Policy Press

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