Consortium for
the North of England

News and Events

the Operations Manager | 07:18 |


We are delighted to announce that a series of videos of the panels from our recent workshop on 'The Politics of the North' can now be viewed from our dedicated page here

The WRCN will launch its eBook 'The Politics of the North: governance, territory and identity in Northern England' on Friday 22 January, as part of the event Power to the North? Prospects and Challenges to Devolution and City Deals in Norther England.

The eBook, edited by Richard Hayton, Arianna Giovannini and Craig Berry, includes contributions reflecting, from various perspectives, on the relevance of the North as a contested political and social space within the current political debate. In this way, the volume helps to shed light on the complex governance, territorial and identity issues that surround the very idea of the North.

The eBook is available at this link.


One of the main goals of the WRCN is to organise a series of events to foster discussion on issues of devolution and regionalism in England, focusing in particular on the governance, identity and political economy of the North.

POWER TO THE NORTH? Prospects and challanges to devolution & City Deals in the North of England
University of Leeds, 22 January 2016

The aim of this one-day event organised by the White Rose Consortium for the North of England is to gather views from across Yorkshire and the North of England on devolution, the Northern Powerhouse, and ‘City Deals’, so as to reflect on and understand the impact, potential and challenges of the new agenda.
We will hear from the key actors involved in the debate, namely national and local politicians, local authorities representatives, civil society and third sectors groups, and academics.
The APPG on reform, decentralisation and devolution is participating in this event, and the Chair of their inquiry on “Better devolution for the whole UK”, Lord Bob Kerslake, will be one of our keynote speakers. Hence, the workshop will also offer an opportunity to collect further evidence from the stakeholders in the North of England, and the views emerging from the panels throughout the day will feed into the work of the inquiry.
The event will close with the launch of the WRCN eBook “The Politics of the North: governance, territory and identity in Northern England”.


The Political Economy of the Northern Powerhouse

SPERI - University of Sheffield, 12 November 2015

The outcome of the 2015 general election significantly intensified the pace of devolution to Northern city-regions, as Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced plans for a directly elected mayor in Greater Manchester. This model is expected to provide a blueprint for devolution in other Northern city-regions. The agenda is, in part, a consequence of the further devolution of powers to Scotland in the wake of the Scottish independence referendum. It is also, however, strongly associated with the Conservative Party’s ostensible commitment to economic ‘rebalancing’ as Northern England continues to be relatively excluded from the economic recovery. 

The pace of political events has not yet been matched by scholarly attention on Northern England, not least because understanding the Northern Powerhouse agenda poses a series of challenges for social scientists that cannot be swiftly overcome. There is an urgent need to bring together scholarship that focuses on public policy and governance arrangements affecting Northern England, with that which focuses on urban development and economic geography. It is also imperative that scholarship on political, cultural and ideological systems in Northern England is informed by analysis of specific economic activities and economic policy practices (such as labour markets, industrial policy, transport, and housing).  

The workshop offers an opportunity for inter-disciplinary learning around the broad theme of the political economy of Northern England. We are particularly, but not solely, interested in contributions that explore: 
  • The uneven and evolving nature of economic life in Northern England, including industrial composition, and the impact of social structures and processes on the Northern economy. 
  • The economic relationships between Northern regions, the rest of the UK, and the European and global economies. 
  • Approaches to economic development (and its governance) in policy-making processes and/or academic research. 
  • The relationship between culture, identity and political processes within or affecting the North, especially in relation to the rise of Englishness as a political identity. 
  • The operation of political parties (and their sub-national structures) within political processes within or affecting the North. 
  • The relationship between urban development, economic geography and political processes within or affecting the North. 
  • The emerging character of UK central government (which will of course retain significant powers over macroeconomic policy) as political authority becomes more localised. 
  • Epistemological and methodological issues related to the analysis of the political economy of Northern England. 
We would welcome papers and participants from any discipline of social science. Papers are not required to focus exclusively on Northern England – we would welcome papers that compare the North to other regions (domestic or international), or develop lessons for Northern England based on other empirical cases. 

The workshop is organised by the White Rose Consortium for the North of England (WRCN), with funding from the White Rose University Consortium. The WRCN is a collaboration between researchers at the University of York, University of Leeds and University of Sheffield (led respectively by Professor Martin Smith, Dr Richard Hayton and Dr Craig Berry). The workshop is free and catering will be provided. Reasonable travel expenses of all presenters will be reimbursed. 

We intend to compile a selection of the papers presented for publication in a special issue of a leading inter-disciplinary academic journal following the workshop. 
If you are interested in presenting a paper at the workshop, please send a brief abstract (approx. 200 words) to by 18th September 2015. 

The workshop will be followed, on the evening of 12th November, by the public event ‘Power to the North? The Political and Economic Future of Northern England’, organised by the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI) as part of the ESRC Festival of the Social Sciences. The event will feature high-profile speakers including Members of Parliament and local civic, business and civil society leaders (full programme here). Workshop participants are encouraged to register for the event at this link.

Workshop Committee: 
Professor Rowland Atkinson (Urban Studies and Planning, University of Sheffield) 
Dr Craig Berry (SPERI, University of Sheffield) 
Dr Richard Hayton (Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds)  
Dr Arianna Giovannini (Centre for Research in the Social Sciences, University of Huddersfield) 
Professor Martin Smith (Politics, University of York)

The Promises and Perils of English Devolution - Lessons from Scotland and Beyond
University of York, 25th September 2015

The purpose of this seminar is to bring together academics that can contribute to the debate on constitutional reform in the UK by examining ongoing research on the causes and consequences of devolution. The aim is to engage participants in a discussion about the driving political forces of current and future reforms in the UK and the conditions under which devolution may succeed as an institutional engine for stability, accountability of economic efficiency. Papers presented will explore these issues from a comparative perspective that is based upon (or provide lessons to) British nations.

The programme for the day (including times, speakers and papers) is available here.
If you would like to attend this seminar, please register here.

Copyright © 2015 White Rose
Distributed By My Blogger Themes | Template Design By BTDesigner