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The time-spaces of austerity urbanism: Narratives of ‘localism’ and UK neighbourhood policy

Jupp, Eleanor (2020) The time-spaces of austerity urbanism: Narratives of ‘localism’ and UK neighbourhood policy. Urban Studies, . ISSN 0042-0980. E-ISSN 1360-063X. (doi:10.1177/0042098020929503) (KAR id:81172)


This paper examines the impact of urban policy change through an attention to shifting feelings about time and place among those affected by such changes. The focus is the shift from ‘Neighbourhood Renewal’ under the UK Labour Government (1997-2010) to ‘localism’ under the Conservative Coalition Government (2010-2015), as part of its programme of austerity. The article draws on longitudinal research with policy officials and resident-activists in two neighbourhoods in one UK city, and examines their narratives about policy change and wider shifting feelings about time and place. From an official perspective, discourses and practices of localism were embraced to an extent, but uncertainty was also present. From the perspective of resident-activists, the changes in policy were experienced as a loss of past services and support, senses of pessimism about the future, and fragmenting and inequitable trajectories for different localities. Temporalities of crisis were also apparent in responding to the material needs of residents undergoing deepening poverty. The failure of the localism discourse to provide everyday meaning can be seen as an example of the incoherent and fragmented nature of contemporary austerity urban governance. A time-space perspective, in particular focusing on how both policy actors and citizens use narrative to organise their spatial and temporal experiences, therefore offers resources for the wider analysis of urban governance.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/0042098020929503
Uncontrolled keywords: austerity; temporality; governance; localism; narrative
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Eleanor Jupp
Date Deposited: 11 May 2020 14:18 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2024 12:24 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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