chapter  8
Pages 26

The previous chapters have identified a series of changes to the economic and employment base, the structure of regions, the restructuring of state provisions, and the development of a local material set of interests through the extension of home ownership. The main concern of this chapter is with the development of local consciousness and forms of social action. The restructuring of social relations, which has been chartered from the international through to the local level, has not been uniform either across the three nation states or across the many regions which have been identified. The patterns suggest both continuities and breaks with the past. A continuity has been the increasing scale of activity which has shifted decision-making for many aspects of economic activity increasingly to the national or international sphere. Given this shift, debate has emerged as to the continued significance of the local area in this restructured capitalist system. Urry, for example, has taken a position in support of space and suggests that: ‘as production capital assumes a more international form capitalist society manifests increasing fragmentation of classes on the local level and therefore political behaviour is characterised by the heightening importance of local social movement not based upon class’ (Urry 1981:455).