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Whatever happened to municipal radicalism?

Thompson, Matthew 2023. Whatever happened to municipal radicalism? Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 48 (3) , pp. 603-618. 10.1111/tran.12606

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What can the municipal state do to radically transform urban economies? Local government in countries such as the UK has been historically tasked with delivering public services; rarely extending its remit to economic development, let alone community-led forms promoting economic democracy, at least not since 1980s municipal socialism. But times are changing, and the UK case provides some telling examples of what is now possible. Community wealth building, cooperative development and foundational economy approaches are fast gaining traction in municipalities across the UK, through emergent public-common-philanthropic partnerships with progressive think tanks, cooperative development agencies, community enterprises, foundations and charitable trusts. This article explores complexifying relations between the state, the cooperative movement and the non-profit industrial complex in the pursuit of sustainable and generative economic development as playing out differently in urban policy experiments in the English cities of Preston and Plymouth. The article contributes to current debates on local state restructuring, municipal statecraft and urban entrepreneurialism by critically comparing these place-based variegations of municipal-cooperative development with previous waves, and with more financialised and extractivist forms of statecraft, drawing out implications for praxis.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD)
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1475-5661
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 20 March 2023
Date of Acceptance: 17 February 2023
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2023 17:07

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