GY413      Half Unit
Regional Development and Policy

This information is for the 2021/22 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 Environmental Policy, Technology and Health (Environment and Development) (LSE and Peking University), 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 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

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 (7th edition), Sage, 2021; J D Donahue, Disunited States, Harper Collins, 1997; R Kanbur and A J Venables, Spatial inequality and development, Oxford University Press, 2005; P. McCann, The UK regional-national economic problem: Geography, globalisation and governance, Routledge, 2016; A Pike, A Rodríguez-Pose and J Tomaney, Local and regional development (2nd edition), Routledge, 2017; A Pike, A Rodríguez-Pose & J Tomaney, Handbook of Local and Regional Development, Routledge, 2011;  R J Putnam, Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American community, Simon & Schuster, 2000; A J Scott, ed., Global city-regions, Oxford University Press, 2001; J Rodden, Why Cities Lose: The Deep Roots of the Urban-Rural Political Divide, Basic Books, 2019; 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; M Storper, Keys to the city: How economics, institutions, social interaction, and politics shape development, Princeton University Press, 2013.



Take-home assessment (100%) in the ST.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Student performance results

(2017/18 - 2019/20 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 29.5
Merit 59.1
Pass 11.4
Fail 0

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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 2020/21: 61

Average class size 2020/21: 61

Controlled access 2020/21: 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