Economic Geography Research Group

Fostering research in Economic Geography

Previous Annual Symposia

In this page:

London School of Economics 2005

Understanding markets

Nottingham 2004

Debating methodology in economic geography

Manchester 2000

Labouring and living in the city

Recent discussion around an 'urban renaissance' of English cities has tended to replay some of the debates that characterised earlier periods of policy innovation. In particular, issues of employment and work in the city that follow from the move toward the 24-hour urban economy have tended to be sidelined, as the emphasis has rested on the virtues of this model of development and regeneration. Work by Sassen (1990) and Zukin (1995) in particular has alerted policy-makers and politicians to the dark side for labour of the discourses around the 24-hour society. In addition to new spaces of consumption, new times of consumption have emerged with all that this means for who and for what the city is used. This half-day seminar pulls together a number of key speakers to explore the evolution of work and play in the city.

The jobs gap in British cities. Ivan Turok (Urban Studies, Glasgow University).
The man-shaped city. Jane Darke (Planning, Oxford Brookes University).
Cosmopolitanism, migrants and European cities. Eleonore Kofman (International Studies, Nottingham Trent University).
Home, work and school: how the middle classes make out in London. Tim Butler (Anthropology and Sociology, University of East London).

Notes on speakers:

Tim Butler is Reader in Sociology in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of East London. He is director of a project entitled 'The Middle Class and the Future of London' which is part of the ESRC ‘Cities: Competitiveness and Cohesion’ Programme. He is the author of 'Gentrification and the Middle Classes' 1997, and has edited (with Mike Savage) 'Social Change and the Middle Classes' (1995), (with Michael Rustin) 'Rising in the East? The Regeneration of East London' (1996) and 'Eastern Promise: Education and Social Renewal in London's Docklands' (2000).

Jane Darke is Senior Lecturer in the Housing and Equal Opportunities in the School of Planning at Oxford Brookes University. Previously she worked in local authority housing departments, then taught at Sheffield Hallam University. She is the author of ‘The Englishwomen’s Castle?’ in C Booth, J Darke and S Yeandle (Eds.) (1996) Changing places: Women’s lives in the city Paul Chapman Publishing Ltd: London.

Eleonore Kofman is Professor of Human Geography at Nottingham Trent University. She is co-ordinator of a project entitled ‘Civic stratification and migratory trajectories in three European states’ which is part of the ESRC Research Programme ‘One Europe or Several?’ She has published extensively on gender and politics in international migration, particularly with reference to France. She is author of ‘Whose City? Gender, Class and Immigration in Globalizing European Cities’ in R Fincher and J M Jacobs (Eds.) (1998) Cities of Difference The Guilford Press: New York and ‘In Search of the Missing Female Subject: Problematic Closures and Opening Strategies’ in M Cross and S Perry (Eds.) (1997) Population and Social Policy Pinter: London.

Ivan Turok is Professor of Urban Economic Development at the University of Glasgow. His research and teaching interests include urban and regional development, local labour markets and unemployment, and policy evaluation. He is currently leading a four-year study of economic competitiveness, social cohesion and governance in Scotland's major cities. Recent books and reports include The Jobs Gap in British Cities (with N. Edge, 1999), Edinburgh and Glasgow: Contrasts in Competitiveness and Cohesion (with N. Bailey and I. Docherty, 1999), The Coherence of EU Regional Policy (with J. Bachtler, 1997), and Targeting Urban Employment Initiatives (with U. Wannop, 1990).

UCL, London 1999

Precarious employment

In the 1990s there has been growing evidence of a widespread shift towards precarious forms of employment in the developed world. In the US, for example, Cappelli et al (1997) have documented the growth in contingent work - inherently precarious types of contracts which includes temporary employment - to reflect the ,disassembling' of internal work structures. Similarly, in their Post-Work Manifesto, Aronowitz et al (1998) highlight the growth of workplace insecurity, supported by the increased prevalence of precarious forms of work and the shrinking number of 'permanent' jobs. The growing incidence of precarious employment across all occupations has prompted them to ask whether societies are heading for a future in which the `good job rapidly becomes the subject of museum shows?' Taking this theme on, the one-day seminar draws together four academics who have worked extensively in the area of work and welfare. Moving beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries, the seminar aims to make a contribution to current political, policy and popular debates around the future of work. It focuses on the existence of precarious forms of employment and draws on research from Europe and the US. This is supplemented by, and integrated into, an analysis of the role of the state in the regulation of the workplace and of welfare insecurity.

Flexible working, equal opportunities or a missed opportunity?. Diane Perrons (Department of Geography and Gender Institute, LSE).
Contingent Chicago: restructuring the spaces of temporary labour. Jamie Peck (School of Geography and International Centre for Labour Studies, University of Manchester).
Precarious labour in context. John Allen (Department of Geography,Open University).

UCL, London 1998

Institutions and governance

An institutionalist perspective on regional development. Ash Amin (Department of Geography, University of Durham).
Theory led by policy? The inadequacies of 'the new regionalism' in economic geography. John Lovering (Department of City and Regional Planning, University of Wales, College of Cardiff).
Endogenous growth and the innovation process: why institutions matter. Stan Metcalfe (Director of the ESRC Centre on Innovation and Competition, University of Manchester).
Agents of 'bottom up' convergence in Europe? The political-economy of European Works Councils. Jane Wills (Department of Geography, University of Southampton).