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Birmingham, Priority to Economics, Social Innovation at the Margins

Brookes, Nadia and Kendall, Jeremy and Mitton, Lavinia (2016) Birmingham, Priority to Economics, Social Innovation at the Margins. In: Brandsen, T and Cattacin, S and Evers, A. and Zimmer, A, eds. Social Innovations in the Urban Context. Springer, pp. 83-96. ISBN 978-3-319-21550-1. E-ISBN 978-3-319-21551-8. (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-21551-8_5)

Abstract

The governance system in Birmingham over the decades has been rooted in a pro-growth strategy. This has resulted in an environment not typically conducive to large-scale social innovation. The impact of history is of significance, with the impact of recession and deindustrialisation that started in the 1980s, and that still continues today, influencing the policy and practice of actors in the city. The major, lasting innovation in the city is partnership working seen as essential to deliver the economic regeneration agenda. Until recently this was a ‘closed’ form of partnership comprising existing local political and economic power holders, but this has evolved to more inclusive engagement. The city council has focused over the years on the promotion of local economic development and employment growth, and to a lesser extent on the provision of services. However, the council has always seen economic development as also serving the objective of improving the quality of life of its citizens and therefore policies do not always show an obvious divide between social and economic policy. Using analysis of local labour market and housing and regeneration policy, the situation in Birmingham can be described as a case of urban governance where solutions to social problems are stated in terms of economic priorities. Innovation does occur but is marginal, through opportunistic and short-term support for small-scale projects, largely through national funding streams. Looking to the future, enhanced devolved decision-making was seen by local actors as a potential vehicle for innovation at the (very) local level.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/978-3-319-21551-8_5
Uncontrolled keywords: Governance of growth; United Kingdom; Partnership; Employment; Housing; Urban renewal
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Personal Social Services Research Unit
Depositing User: Nadia Brookes
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2017 14:29 UTC
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 04:09 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/64623 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Brookes, Nadia: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6661-2814
Kendall, Jeremy: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1139-0844
Mitton, Lavinia: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7994-6135
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