GY413      Half Unit
Regional Development and Policy

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Andres Rodriguez-Pose STC S4.07


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Inequalities and Social Science. This course is available on the MSc in Environment and Development, MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and Fudan), MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and USC), MSc in Regional And Urban Planning Studies, MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po) and MSc in Urbanisation and Development. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


A good background is required in one of the fields of management, economics, economic geography, regional and urban studies.

Course content

This course deals with the management and institutions of local and regional economic development. It dwells on the socio-economic implications of the emergence of local and regional governments and institutions as key actors in the design and implementation of economic development strategies across the world. In particular, the first section of the course analyses the consequences for economic efficiency and equality of the gradual but relentless shift of development responsibilities from the national and the supranational to the local and regional scale, linked of political and fiscal decentralisation. The second section of the course focuses, from a theoretical and empirical perspective, on the strategies being implemented by subnational governments across the world in order to cope and redress development problems. Strategies based on the building of infrastructure, the attraction of foreign direct investment, the support to local production and the promotion of local human resources are analysed in different institutional and governance contexts. The course draws on examples from Europe, the US, Latin America, and Asia.


20 hours of lectures and 20 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to participate in group debates throughout the course, with written presentation slides required.  Feedback is provided in the sessions.

Indicative reading

R J Bennett, Decentralization, Local Governments and Markets: Towards a Post-Welfare Agenda, Clarendon Press, 1990; N Brenner, New state spaces: Urban governance and the rescaling of statehood, Oxford University Press, 2004; P Dicken, Global Shift: Mapping the Changing Contours of the World Economy, Sage, 2007; J D Donahue, Disunited States, Harper Collins, 1997; R Kanbur and A J Venables, Spatial inequality and development, Oxford University Press, 2005; A Pike, A Rodríguez-Pose and J Tomaney, Local and regional development, Routledge, 2006; R J Putnam, Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy, Princeton University Press, 1993; A Pike, A Rodríguez-Pose & J Tomaney, Handbook of Local and Regional Development, Routledge, 2011;  A J Scott, ed., Global city-regions, Oxford University Press, 2001; M Storper, The Regional World: Territorial Development in a Global Economy, Guilford Press, 1997. A number of more specialised texts will be recommended at the beginning of the course.


Take home exam (100%) in the ST.

Student performance results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 18.2
Merit 63.6
Pass 15.2
Fail 3

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2015/16: 11

Average class size 2015/16: 11

Controlled access 2015/16: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills