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Ruling the regions: an interpretivist analysis of institutional development in the English regional assemblies

Matharu, Tatum G. (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This thesis presents an interpretivist analysis of institutional development in the English regional assemblies. It presents a history of institutional development in the regions, arriving at a conceptualization of this tier as a site of ‘institutional ambiguity.’ Exploring the theoretical bases of institutions and conducting a thorough critique of the schools of institutionalism, this thesis takes forward the theory of ‘constructivist institutionalism.’ A theoretical framework focussed on the processes of institutional design and change is built from constructivist institutionalism, as is a complementary and coherent methodological package to explore the empirical sites of the West Midlands and North West regional assemblies. The concepts of ‘frames’ and ‘stories’ are set out as interpretivist tools through which the primary interview data is analysed, to capture the development of the democratic institution of representation as it relates to the local government and stakeholder actors involved in these two regional assemblies. This thesis finds actors engaged in interplay between structure and agency while contributing to the processes of institutional design and change. Actors draw together their ideas with the pre-existing institutional context, relating them together in discursive constructions (frames, stories) that underpin their strategic-relational action, which in turn underpins the institutions of the assemblies. Regional representation transpires to mimic local governmental norms due to the dominant influence of the pre-existing context.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Skelcher, Chris (1951-) and Jas, Pauline and Griggs, Steven (1962-)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Institute of Local Government Studies, School of Government and Society
Subjects:JC Political theory
JF Political institutions (General)
JN101 Great Britain
JS Local government Municipal government
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3632
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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