Work Packages

Organised over 36 months, the project is structured into five work packages (WPs):

i)      WP 1 will identify and categorise peripheral regions across western Europe (EU-15) to situate French, German and UK regions in their wider context and differentiate types of peripheral region, overcoming the characterisation of different kinds of places as ‘left behind’ (Objective i). Informed by critical review of the international academic and ‘grey’ literature, analysis will be undertaken of the key dimensions (e.g. economic, demographic, health, social, political) and mechanisms of peripheralisation, incorporating a range of variables and indicators. Different types of peripheral regions will be identified based upon their long-term pathways relative to national and EU-15 dynamics during 1980-2017 (e.g. ‘stable’, ‘transitioning’, ‘declining’). Analysis will be centred on the NUTS 2 scale using secondary data from national statistical institutes (e.g. France’s INSEE) and international bodies (e.g. Eurostat, OECD).

ii)     WP 2 will investigate the differentiated patterns, experiences and outcomes of ‘movers’ and ‘stayers’ in the different types of peripheral regions in France, Germany and the UK. Innovating by covering the neglected issue of residential immobility as well as mobility (Objective ii), European Labour Force Survey (ELFS) data will be analysed to establish each regional populations’ level of (im)mobility since 2011. The socio-economic and well-being outcomes (e.g. employment, income, educational attainment, and health) of stayers and movers will be compared using ELFS data, and linked to demographic and attitudinal regional data analyses of available panel and longitudinal surveys.

iii)    WP 3 will uncover people’s everyday livelihood practices, addressing the neglected question of how ‘ordinary’ people deal with peripheralisation (Objective iii). Providing localised, in-depth understanding of experiences of peripheralisation and informed by WPs 1 and 2, six in-depth neighbourhood case studies will be selected (2 per country). For cross-national comparability, the cases will be matched across countries. Reflecting the concern with inner peripheries, and informed by the OECD’s extended regional typology, three of the cases will be pre-dominantly urban (e.g. Roubaix in Nord, Gelsenkirchen, Sunderland) and three intermediate and shaped by relations with nearby cities (e.g. Gard in the Cévennes, Kaiserslautern Landkreis, Lincolnshire). The final selection of cases will take place at the outset of this WP. Each case will involve semi-structured biographical interviews with a systematic sample of residents (30 per case, 180 in total), non-participant observation, livelihood infrastructures mapping, and focus groups. Key is identifying potential pathways out of precarity at the household scale.

iv)    WP 4 will assess current and inform future policy approaches to the varied predicaments of peripheral regions (WP1), addressing the limitations of city-centric approaches (Objective iv) and informed by WPs 1-3. First, the WP will review policy approaches towards peripheral regions across the global North from the mid-1990s with the aim of identifying their strategies, rationales, intended effects, outcomes and limitations. Second, detailed analysis, mapping and periodisation of institutions and policies from the early 1980s will be undertaken for the six WP 3 cases. This work will be based upon secondary sources and 110 semi-structured interviews with key actors at the local and regional (15 per case, 90 in total), national (15) and supranational levels (5) plus 9 co-production workshops (3 national, 1 in each case area).

v)     WP 5 will synthesise findings from WPs 1-4, relating them to the project aim and objectives, and write-up the project’s research outputs (c. 8 international/high impact journal articles, 1 monograph) and policy report.