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Policy Conflict in Inter-Governmental Relations: The Changing Role of Local Authorities in the Goverance of Local Economic Development in Post-Devolution Scotland

Author: MIKE BENNETT and JOHN FAIRLEY
Published in IJED, Vol. 5 No. 1

This paper explores the impact of devolution on Local Economic Development with specific reference to the role of local authorities, and locates this study within broader debates about policy change. We explain the institutional framework for Local Economic Development in Scotland inherited by devolution and we consider the process of devolution to date and recent policy change in this area, including Community Planning and reform of the Enterprise Network. Throughout the paper looks at issues of fragmentation, divergence and power in inter-governmental relations between key actors and institutions. The findings of original research into the attitudes and perceptions of local government actors are located within this context and compared with existing data. The analysis outlines the main area of conflict between central and local government in this area and suggests that economic development activity is becoming increasingly centralised post-devolution. In conclusion we offer suggestions as to what this tells us about broader inter-governmental relations ands the impact of constitutional change.

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