Module Information

Module Identifier
GG39920
Module Title
Regional Geographies
Academic Year
2016/2017
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 1
External Examiners
  • Professor Catherine Nash (Professor - Queen Mary University of London)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 9 x 3 Hour Lectures
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Written examination answering 2 questions (unseen)  50%
Semester Assessment One essay of no more than 2500 words  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Written examination answering 2 questions (unseen)  50%
Supplementary Assessment One essay of no more than 2500 words  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the intellectual evolution and development of regions in human geography;
  • Critically evaluate a number of conceptual and theoretical debates on region-formation, regional development and change;
  • Apply these knowledges and literatures to an analysis of the major changes that have impacted upon the regions and nations of Britain in recent debates;
  • Explain the major economic, political, socio-cultural, and territorial issues of relevance in contemporary debates on devolution and British 'regionalism';
  • Demonstrate awareness of having understood and practised a number of personal and transferable skills, including critical thought, communication skills and reading and writing skills.

Brief description

In this module, regions are considered as an important mechanism for contextualizing geographical change in the contemporary world. As such, This module analyses the changing role of 'regions in geography' by, first, exploring the intellectual development of regional geography and, second, by examining a number of case studies of the economic, socio-cultural and political geography of the United Kingdom.

Content

Session 1 ? Introduction/ Traditional Regional Geography (<1940s)
This lecture will introduce the topic of regions within geography. It will begin with a series of simple questions: (i) Why regions? (ii) What is a region? (iii) Why are their regional geographers? (iv) Where does regional geography fit within the discipline of geography? and (iv) Is it only geographers that study regions?
The second part of the session will consider the origins of regional geography and the period 1880-1940. More specifically, it will consider the links between empire and regional geography, environmental determinism and the work of the so-called `Aberystwyth School?.

Session 2 ? Spatial Keynesianism (1940-1970)
The first half of the lecture focuses on formal and functional regions, spatial science, and regional science. We will see how until the 1970s regional geography was geography and vice versa. It will look at (i) methodological question on the `nature of geography? as a regional discipline (Hartshorne, 1939); (ii) the reaction to this approach that resulted in the search for explanation (Schaefer, 1959); and (iii) how quantification and categorisation resulted in, amongst other things, the birth of regional science.
The second half of the lecture focuses on reactions against regional science through Marxist-inspired approaches, which argued for a regional political-economic form of explanation i.e. linked to the shifting economic geographies of capitalism. This part of the lecture will also introduce the notion that regions are not absolute and fixed, but relative and constructed in different ways.
Session 3 ? Regional Policy & Planning in Post War Britain
This lecture will show why and how regions were mobilised during the period 1919-1979, and explore limits of their mobilisation in three parts: (i) the creation of nations and regions in the UK; (ii) regional problems, regional policy, regional planning; and (iii) analysing `spatial Keynesianism?.
Session 4 ? The New Regional Geography and Relational Regions (1980s)
This lecture focuses on the new regional geography that emerged in the mid-1990s when a number of previously isolated academic sub-disciplines (economic geography, political geography, humanistic geography, critical social theory) came together and sought a middle ground through a `geography of regions?.
Session 5 ? Thatcherism: Local Economic Strategies
The aim of this lecture is to discuss the ways in which South East England was mobilised during the 1980s by Margaret Thatcher'r Conservative Government. We will do this by looking at 5 themes: (i) the political-economy of Thatcherism; (ii) rolling back regional policy; (iii) rolling forward `centrally orchestrated localism?; (iv) housing policy and popular capitalism; and (v) the geographical dimensions of economic and fiscal policy.
Session 6 ? The New Regionalism (1990s +)
This session will outline the key features of the new regionalism which dominated the thinking of both academics and policymakers during the 1990s and still dominates thinking today. It documents how in globalization there is the emergence of a new territorial economy and a new territorial politics ? based around regions.

Session 7 ? New labour: Devolution, Constitutional Change and Economic Governance
This session will consider in detail how the new regionalism was put into practice by Tony Blair'r Labour Government through their post-1997 programme of Devolution and Constitutional Change.

Session 8 ? The Rise of City-Regionalism (2000 +)

In the late 1990s it was recognised that the re-emergence of the region appeared to coincide with the resurgence of another territorial form - the city. Under the titles of `global city-regions? and the `new city regionalism? there has been growing support for city-regions and the re-emergence of the city-region concept in economic geography. This lecture explores the economic and political logic for city-regions.

Session 9 ? Life After Regions: The Evolu

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Developed in a written form through the essay assignment and written exam.
Improving own Learning and Performance The assessment for this course is such that students are required to demonstrate their capacity to identify and access key texts and documents concerning the impact of a key scholar in regional geography. In preparation for the exam, the students are required to undertake a significant amount of policy analysis as a basis for identifying the impact of shifting regional development models in the UK.
Information Technology Use of word-processing packages (MS Word) in completion of written work.
Personal Development and Career planning Development of transferable ICT and research skills.
Problem solving The module will develop students' problem-solving skills in a number of ways. Students will be required to analyse a range of sources and texts, and they will be required to complete small problem-solving exercises during the lectures. Students will also have to address problems associated with research design when undertaking their assessed essay.
Research skills The set essay question requires students to carry out a significant amount of independent research in order to determine and critique the impact of a key thinker in advancing our understandings of regional geography. Students are expected to research and synthesize a range of academic and policy source material in preparation for the final exam.
Subject Specific Skills Undertaking geographical case studies of specific regions and city-regions in the UK, and linking this to shifting understandings of the region and suitable development frameworks.
Team work The lectures may include class-based problem-solving exercises and discussions which will provide opportunities for students to develop team-working skills and discuss their thoughts with the class.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 6