Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 31100
The Regional Concept, Public Policy and Policy Spaces: The ARC and TVA

Authors: Jay D. Gatrell, Robert Q. Hanham, Jeff Worsham, Maureen McDorman


This paper examines two policy spaces–the ARC and TVA–and their spatialized politics. The research observes that the regional concept informs public policy and can contribute to the formation of stable policy initiatives. Using the subsystem framework to understand the political viability of policy regimes, the authors conclude policy geographies that appeal to traditional definitions of regions are more stable over time. In contrast, geographies that fail to reflect pre-existing representations of space are engaged in more competitive subsystem politics. The paper demonstrates that the spatial practices of policy regions and their directional politics influence the political viability of programs. The paper concludes that policy spaces should institutionalize pre-existing geographies–not manufacture new ones.

Keywords: Politics, region, agenda setting

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1131


[1] Paasi, A., 2000. Re-constructing regions and regional identity. Katholieker Universiteit Nijmegen, Nethur Lecture, July 11.
[2] MacLeod, G. and M. Goodwin. 1999. Space, scale, and state strategy: rethinking urban and regional governance. Progress in Human Geography, 23: 503-527
[3] Paasi, A., 2003. Region and place: regional identity in question. Progress in Human Geography, 27: 475-785.
[4] MacLeod, G., 2001. New regionalism reconsidered: Globalization and the remaking political economic space. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 25, pp. 804-825.
[5] Gatrell, J. and J. Worsham. 2002. Policy Spaces: Applying Lefebvrian Politics in Neo-Institutional Spaces. Space and Polity, 6: 324-342.
[6] Gatrell, J. and L. Fintor. 1998. Spatial niches, policy subsystems, and agenda setting: the case of the ARC. Political Geography, 17: 883-897.
[7] Keating, M., 1997. The invention of regions: political restructuring and territorial government in Europe. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 15:383-398.
[8] Cox, K., 1998. Spaces of dependence, spaces of engagement and the politics of scale; or looking for local politics. Political Geography, 17: 1- 24.
[9] Gilbert, A., 1988. The new regional geography in English and Frenchspeaking countries. Progress in Human Geography, 12: 208-228.
[10] Pudup, M., 2000. Review: Allen, Massey, and Cochrane-s Rethinking the Region. Annals of the Associations of American Geographers 90: 404-442.
[11] Pudup, M., 1988. Arguments within regional geography. Progress in Human Geography, 12: 360-390.
[12] Lefebvre, H., 1991. The Production of Space. Oxford: Blackwell.
[13] Merrifield, A., 1993. Place and space: a Lefebvrian reconciliation. Trans. Br. Inst. Geogr., 18: 516-531.
[14] McCool, D., 1998. The subsystem family of concepts: A critique and a proposal. Political Research Quarterly, 51: 551-570.
[15] Eisner, M., J. Worsham, and E. Ringquist, 1999. Contemporary Regulatory Policy. Boulder: Reinner.
[16] Thurber, J., 1991. Dynamics of policy subsystems in American politics. In Interest Group Politics, ed. A. Cigler and B. Loomis. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press.
[17] Baumgartner, F. and B. Jones, 1993. Agendas and Instability in American Politics. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
[18] McCool, D., 1990. Political viability of subgovernments. Political Science Quarterly, 105: 270-293.
[19] Heclo, H., 1978. Issue networks and the executive establishment. In The New American Political System ed. King. American Enterprise Institute, Washington, DC.
[20] Stein, R. and K. Bickers, 1995. Perpetuating the Pork Barrel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[21] Tennessee Valley Authority. 2002. GRPA: Annual Performance Report, FY01.
[22] Tennessee Valley Authority. 2002. TVA: A Short History.
[23] Congressional Record: 81st-106th Congresses. Washington, DC: GPO. {also available on-line at}.
[24] Chattanooga Times Editorial Staff. 1997. Editorial: TVA stumbles on Little Cedar. The Chattanooga Times, September 10, A8.
[25] Nashville Tennessean. 1999. TVA brought power, controversy to valley. Nashville Tennessean, September 13.
[26] Batteau, A., 1990. The Invention of Appalachia: The anthropology of form & meaning. Tuscon: The University of Arizona Press.
[27] Salstrom, P., 1994. Appalachia-s Path to Dependency. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press.
[28] Laing, C., 1999. Spatial investments strategies of federal assistance to Appalachia. Southeastern Geographer 39:99-113.
[29] Moore, T., 1990. Development and change in Appalachian Kentucky-s economy: 1870-1890. Southeastern Geographer, 30: 121-139.
[30] Moore, T., 1994. Core-periphery models, regional planning theory, and Appalachian development. The Professional Geographer 46:316-331.
[31] Raitz, K. and R. Ulack, 1984. Appalachia: A Regional Geography. London: Westview.
[32] Whisnant, D., 1994. Modernizing the Mountaineer: People, Power and Planning in Appalachia. Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press.
[33] Olivetti, A., and R. Klase. 1997. The structural dynamics of committee jurisdictions in immigration policy, Presented at the Midwest Political Science Conference, Chicago, IL.
[34] Jones, B., F. Baumgartner, and J. Talbert. 1993. The destruction of policy monopolies in congress. American Political Science Review, 87: 657-671.
[35] Staeheli, L., J. Kodras and C. Flint. 1997. State Devolution in America. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
[36] Agnew, J., 1999. Regions on the mind does not equal regions of the mind. Progress in Human Geography 23: 91-96.
[37] Johnson, M. 1994. Public policy and industrial location in the lower Mississippi Delta in an era of restructuring, Southeastern Geographer, 34:17-39.