New state spaces or old local places?: the Greater Vancouver Economic Council as a case study of regional governance




Symonds, Krista Jill

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The urban governance literature is currently situated in the nexus of globalization and devolution. On the one hand, scholars are trying to understand the ways that globalization and neoliberalism impact the nation-state. On the other hand. scholars are trying to understand recent changes in urban governance. In New State Spaces: Urban governance and the rescaling of statehood, Neil Brenner tries to bring these two streams of analysis together. He claims that changes to the nation-state have subsequent implications for urban governance in face of capitalist globalization. Brenner bases his argument on examples drawn from Western Europe that span the 1970s to the present. This research investigates Brenner's account by exploring the application for the city of Vancouver and the development of the Greater Vancouver Economic Council. Through the use of a document review and interviews, it is demonstrated that Brenner's account fits at a broad level but falls short under closer scrutiny. Neither the timeline nor the emphasis on urban locational policies are applicable in the Vancouver case. While the neoliberal agenda is identifiable, I argue that local factors - old local places - have a critical impact on the trajectory of regional governance.



politics and government, Vancouver, British Columbia