The Role of Events in Driving Policy Change in the Governance of York 1966-2011


  • J French


This paper derives from a continuing doctoral study into the contemporary history of how the local management of the drivers of change, specifically, conservation, tourism and the wider economy developed in the historic city of York during a period of dramatic economic and cultural realignment. These drivers are characterised by a mutual interdependence in sustaining investment in development but are also subject to significantly different political, economic and cultural objectives and motivations by those actors who promote and manage change. The focus is on the development of local governance defined as the transition from hierarchical forms of government to more horizontal partnership approaches. The work to date suggests that the process of change may be episodic, driven by key events such as significant policy reviews, physical developments and factory closures. This paper suggests a three part categorisation of important events; namely as spurs to action, as economic drivers of change in themselves and finally as validators of policy decisions.