This ‘in perspective’ piece addresses the (re-)positioning of civil society within new structures of city-region governance within Greater Manchester. This follows on from the processes of devolution, which have given the Greater Manchester City-Region a number of new powers. UK devolution, to date, has been largely focused upon engendering agglomerated economic growth at the city-region scale. Within Greater Manchester City-Region, devolution for economic development has sat alongside the devolution of health and social care (unlike any other city-region in the UK) as well. Based on stakeholder mapping and semi-structured interviews with key actors operating across the Greater Manchester City-Region, the paper illustrates how this has created a number of significant tensions and opportunities for civil society actors, as they have sought to contest a shifting governance framework. The paper, therefore, calls for future research to carefully consider how civil society groups are grappling with devolution; both contesting and responding to devolution. This is timely given the shifting policy and political discourse towards the need to deliver more socially inclusive city-regions.
Published: August 2017