Twenty years ago, Bob Jessop (1998) published a defining piece on the “rise of governance” and the “risks of failure”, using the example of economic development to frame concerns with the state of capitalism at that time. This charted the rise of governance, outlined key governance practices, and offered preliminary reflections on the nature, forms, and logic of governance failure ‒ given that whilst there are already extensive literatures on market failure and state failure, governance failure required focused concern and thematic analysis. This paper, 20 years post‐Jessop on governance rise and risks, tells the tale of how governance in Britain (and England specifically) has marched on and, building on Jessop, has indeed failed, repeatedly and spectacularly. The paper reveals Jessop’s governance dilemmas in action and specifically how the contradictions and crises tendencies of capitalism have both necessitated the use of, and been played out in and through, geographical space. The paper reveals an economic governance landscape of unresolved crises and contradictions, which is linked to problems of state rationality and legitimation, exhibited by the Brexit debacle in Britain