Is London having a toxic effect on the North?
The seminar, presented by Jeff Henderson, Professor of International Development at the University of Bristol, takes place on Wednesday 12 February, from 3 to 4.30pm, at Leeds Met's Broadcasting Place building.
In his seminar, Professor Henderson will liken London to the Indonesian upas tree: a plant whose leaves produce a toxic sap that kills off anything that tries to grow beneath its branches. He will argue that London has become overdeveloped and that consequently the rest of Britain has become underdeveloped.
Professor Henderson believes that the North has been most affected and will argue that, while the dire economic circumstances of many of England's regions are related to this lack of balance in the structure of the British economy, this structure is, in itself, a function of the centralisation of the British state and of the class interests that benefit from it.
The lecture will investigate the regional consequences of such state centralisation and argue that any prospect of serious and sustainable economic rejuvenation in the North of England, and other parts of the country, requires a reformation of Britain as a Federal state.
Angela Grier, Senior Lecturer Criminology and co-organiser of the event, commented: "In a very recent report by Think Tank Centre for Cities, Alexandra Jones argues 'the economic gap between London and the rest of the UK is widening because other cities are punching below their weight.' London has created ten times more private sector jobs than any other city since 2010. The research also found that almost a third of people aged between 22 and 30 who moved cities headed for London.
"With this in mind, Professor Jeff Henderson will discuss his view that London has become over-developed economically, politically, socially and culturally, whilst the rest of the UK, and especially the North, suffers as a result of gross underdevelopment."
Professor Henderson has taught previously at the Universities of Birmingham, Hong Kong and Manchester and has held Visiting Professorships or Fellowships at the Universities of California, Melbourne, Leeds and Glasgow, among others. While his earlier work was concerned with urbanisation and inequality in Britain, much of it since then has been on industrialisation and economic transformation in East Asia. Since 2012 his work with the Hannah Mitchell Foundation has re-focussed his attention on Britain, and particularly on the problems of economic development in the North of England.
The seminar is part of a series of seminars run by the University's Centre for Applied Social Research. To reserve a place on this and all events in the series, which includes a public debate on inequality with Hilary Benn MP, go to http://hssleedsmet.eventbrite.co.uk