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A Century of British Geography$
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Ron Johnston and Michael Williams

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780197262863

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197262863.001.0001

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Geographers and the regional problem

Geographers and the regional problem

Chapter:
(p.583) 18 Geographers and the regional problem
Source:
A Century of British Geography
Author(s):

Ray Hudson

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197262863.003.0019

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

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