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The Regional Concept, Public Policy and Policy Spaces: The ARC and TVA

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

Abstract:

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: Agenda setting, politics, region.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1057781

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