This paper analyses relations between sub-national institutional actors responsible for the attraction and retention of foreign direct investment, other ‘governance’ actors in regional business systems – local and sub-regional government, cluster/sectoral bodies, RDA and LEP executives, and those involved in the coordination of skills provision – and subsidiaries of foreign-owned multinational corporations. It is based on qualitative research in two regions of England conducted between 2008 and 2011. Within a context of international competition for investment within global production networks, it explores recent politically driven changes in sub-national governance, including the abolition of Regional Development Agencies, alongside the more long-standing instability of economic development and skills coordination in England. The analysis is centred on an argument that a more adequate understanding of sub-national economic governance requires the active integration of perspectives on political systems of governance, and embedded patterns of economic coordination, as analysed in the varieties of capitalism literature.
- multinational corporations
- skills systems
- regional economic development
- foreign direct investment