The Bartlett School of Planning


STATECRAFT and the production of the built environment

27 February 2019, 1:00 pm–6:00 pm


Event Information

Open to





John Tomaney


De Morgan House
57-58 Russell Square

Deriving from the early work of Bulpitt but recently experiencing a new lease of life in political science, statecraft is a phrase increasingly deployed to explain patterns of urban and regional governance and centre-periphery relationships. It concerns how political actors win elections and achieve a degree of governing competence. It considers how governing objectives and electoral strategies are formed, how operational codes are developed in pursuit of these objectives and how actors selectively use theories, ideologies and cultural modes to achieve ‘political argument hegemony’ and to inform the ‘official mind’ which guides policy development. At the same time, as understood by Bulpitt, statecraft is the art of understanding and working with the limitations placed on elite activity by the many changing structural constraints arising from and without the polity.

The concept seems to have great promise for the study of cities and regions and to speak to the diverse empirical and theoretical interests of BSP research groups. But, at the same time, the concept is overdue some critical scrutiny. Not least it application beyond the UK warrants further discussion. Organised by the Cities, Governance and Planning Group, this half day seminar aims to explore the utility of this concept as a framework for research and an opportunity to invite keynote speakers to help frame a discussion about the value of the concept and its application to the governance of cities and regions and to our work at BSP.



1315-1400 Arrival and lunch

1400-1530 Keynote talks

PETER JOHN (KCL) Bulpitt and statecraft
JANE WILLS (Exeter) Localism and statecraft
ANDY PIKE (Newcastle) Urban and regional statecraft

1545-1600 Tea

1600-1730 BSP presentations

1730-1800 Respondents and next steps

Patrick Le Gales, Andy Pike, Mike Raco, John Tomaney