Published: November 2017
Author(s): David Etherington, Martin Jones

This paper argues that city-region building debates and relatedly “post-political” literatures are missing critical perspectives on the state, particularly the state’s continued existence as a social relation and an arena for politics, its role in the regulation of uneven development and the conflicts and struggles that arise from this. The paper brings the state centrally into “post-political” debates via a critical analysis of the interrelationships between depoliticization and neoliberalism. Focusing on Sheffield (South Yorkshire, England) in the context of devolution and deal-making public policy, the paper explores the seemingly consensual vision-making dynamics of this city region and dissects the tensions around economic governance, welfare austerity and social inequalities to get a handle on the “post-political” depoliticized state in, and of, contemporary capitalism.

Keywords
City-region building, depoliticization, neoliberalism, post-political