Urban policy, 'modesty' and 'misunderstanding': On the mythology of 'partnership' in urban Scotland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Some time around the late 1980s it became increasingly common for commentators to point to a framework of urban policy in Scotland which had distinctive characteristics in comparison to the rest of Britain (e.g. Atkinson and Moon, 1994; Boyle, 1988; McCarthy, 1999; McCrone, 1991). But if there have been distinctively Scottish characteristics in this policy field over the past fifteen years, then it would seem that modesty has not been among them. Rigorous evaluation of, and sober reflection upon, the experience of implementation would, unfortunately, not be among them either. For what has perhaps been all too characteristic of urban policy in Scotland during this period has been a tendency towards exaggerated claims about its efficacy, together with an unwillingness to face the reality of what comes close to (or maybe just is) policy failure. For those who might want to learn from the experience of Scotland in recent times, especially those who might be looking for some transferable policy ‘know-how’, this might create some difficulties - and some dangers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRestructuring Regional and Local Economies
Subtitle of host publicationTowards a Comparative Study of Scotland and Upper Silesia
EditorsGeorge Blazyca
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherTaylor and Francis Ltd.
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781315194448
ISBN (Print)9781138718630
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Built Environment
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Business & Industry
  • Geography
  • Politics
  • International Relations
  • Scotland


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