GY413      Half Unit
Regional Development and Policy

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Andres Rodriguez-Pose STC S4.07


This course is available on the MPhil/PhD in Economic Geography, MSc in Environment and Development, MSc in Inequalities and Social Science, MSc in Local Economic Development, MSc in Regional And Urban Planning Studies and MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po). This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

The number of students that can be accommodated is limited. If the course is over-subscribed, places will be allocated at the Department’s discretion and a waiting list may be created. For further details, please contact your relevant Programme Coordinator.


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.


In the Department of Geography and Environment, teaching will be delivered through a combination of classes/seminars, pre-recorded lectures, live online lectures, in-person lectures and other supplementary interactive live activities.


This course is delivered through a combination of seminars and lectures across Lent Term.


This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Lent Term. 

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 assessment (100%) in the ST.

Student performance results

(2016/17 - 2018/19 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 35.5
Merit 54.2
Pass 10.3
Fail 0

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2019/20: 66

Average class size 2019/20: 66

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

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