Geographers and the regional problem

Ray Hudson

in A Century of British Geography

Published by British Academy

Published in print September 2003 | ISBN: 9780197262863
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734076 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Centenary Monographs

Geographers and the regional problem

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There is a long history of geographers in Britain analysing and engaging with ‘the regional problem’. Despite periodic attempts to deny its significance, the regional problem has proved remarkably persistent and has periodically re-emerges on the political agenda. A distinguishing feature of the way in which British geographers have analysed spatial inequality has been an increasingly sophisticated and nuanced recognition of the multi-scalar and complex character of the map of spatial inequality. This chapter examines some of the main strands in the evolving ways in which geographers have analysed ‘the regional problem’ and associated regional policies in the light of two sorts of changes: first, changes in the map of regional uneven development and in government policies; and secondly, in terms of changing conceptions of human geography, and changes in geographical thought and practice. As a prelude to this, the chapter considers some broader issues raised in recent debates about conceptualising and theorising regions, as they provide a contemporary reference point against which to view these issues and the ‘regional problem’ and ‘problem regions’ as objects of public policy.

Keywords: Britain; geographers; regional problem; problem regions; public policy; human geography; spatial inequality

Chapter.  8497 words. 

Subjects: Population and Demography

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