Regionalism, devolution and subsidiarity

See here for two explorations of the green ‘take’ on regionalism, devolution and subsidiarity:

Bioregionalism v. Borderline bankruptcy (Irvine)

Devolution and Regional Powerhouses Debate

These issues are becoming more and more critical. Within the rather disunited UK, for example, there are the struggles over the future of Scotland and Wales. Within England there are parallel arguments about the devolution to the regions and a new generation of powerful city bosses (‘mayors’), often presiding over new combined authorities. Then the is the whole ‘Northern Powerhouse’ scheme, very much an inherently flawed attempt to replicate mini-Londons in other parts of the country. There is, of course, widespread and justified resentment of London-centrism.

Outside the UK, there are struggles for regional autonomy if not separation. In  2017 it was Catalonia that, in Europe, provided the focal point but such movements could erup in many places around the world, from Quebec to West Papua. Yet most just look for a different division of the same economic cake and associated lifestyles. Yet ‘business-as-usual’ is simply not sustainable (eg https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/advance-article/doi/10.1093/biosci/bix125/4605229) We need, then, to look afresh at these matters and tease out a ‘sustainable regionalism’.

Looming over these matters back in Brtain is the push to take the UK out of the EU. In both Brexit and Remain camps, quite obsolete models of governance predominate. Manistream Brexiteers seem to entertain some fantasdy about a new Britannia that once again will rule the waves. Remainers, including some leading Greens such as Caroline Lucas MP and Jean Lambert MEP, have largely abandoned traditional (and valid) criticism and the EU, not least the Single Market customs union and associated free movement of people. Yet the flaws of the EU remain and indeed politicians such as Emmanuel Macron are pushing for even more political centralisation. Again we need to go back to green basic and develop fresh idea.

 

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