National-Level Scale Commitments from 1945 to 1970
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This chapter explores the antecedents of devolution in the post-World War II era by examining the political economy of postwar reconstruction at different scales of the state. The chapter specifically looks at the partisan relations invested in the implementation of key decentralization projects. The most relevant national, regional and urban planning policy institutions that were developed and opposed by various political and class coalitions are presented as a tool to understand how different levels of the state are produced, sustained and ultimately challenged. Labour and the Conservatives were in the driver’s seat with respect to the welfare state and long boom, but they were also integrated into the international economy that limited their domestic policy options. This impacted regions and cities as they were unevenly differentiated by the types and placement of industry and made for a geographically oriented politics of contestation in response to different experiences with social decay and unemployment.