Regional Studies, 47(1): Regional World(s): Advancing the Geography of Regions, pp 29-42

During the mid-to-late 1980s, ‘locality’ was the spatial metaphor to describe and explain the shifting world of regional studies. The paper argues that the resulting ‘localities debate’ threw this baby out with the bathwater and rather than invent new concepts to capture socio-spatial relations in the twenty-first century, the paper urges a ‘return to locality’ to enlighten regional studies. The paper offers three new readings of locality, which when taken together constitute the basis for thinking about regions, society and space through the lens of ‘new localities’. It further suggests that for locality to have analytical value it must also have both an imagined and a material coherence, and it puts a ‘new locality’ framework to work in research on devolved regional economic and social geographies.