International Journal of Public Sector Management, 22(7) pp 605-622


The aim of this paper is to explore Whitehall motivations underpinning the Sub‐national Review of Economic Development and Regeneration.


The paper is based on interviews conducted with senior Whitehall officials involved in regional working.


The Sub‐national Review seeks to streamline regional structures and provide regions with enhanced autonomy. However, findings indicate that there are distinct differences of opinion across Whitehall departments regarding the future trajectory of English regionalism and what powers and functions regional bodies should acquire. These contradictory positions raise questions about the implementation and effectiveness of the proposals.


An examination of these phenomena is intended to provide greater clarity regarding the opportunities and constraints presented by the latest phase of regional restructuring.