Urban civic pride and the new localism



Collins T (2016) Urban civic pride and the new localism. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 41 (2), pp. 175-186.

Civic pride relates to how places promote and defend local identity and autonomy. It is often championed as a key value and aspiration of local government. This paper argues that civic pride has been under‐examined in geography, and in particular the emotional meanings of pride need to be better understood. In response, I present an emotional analysis of civic pride and discuss its role in British cities, particularly in the context of urban regeneration and the UK's new localism agenda. In the latter part of the paper I provide a case study of Nottingham in England, where I employ a discourse analysis of recent urban policy and local media to examine how civic pride is being mobilised and contested in the city. Examining civic pride is important because it shapes and reflects the political values that local governments stand for and provides a basis for thinking about how emotions are used strategically (and problematically) in urban policy. This paper complements and challenges existing literature on cities by showing how civic pride shapes, but also obscures, the ideological politics of local government and how, as geographers, we might consider more seriously the ways forms of power, identity and inequality are reproduced and contested through emotions such as pride.

civic pride; shame; localism; Nottingham; regeneration

Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers: Volume 41, Issue 2

FundersEconomic and Social Research Council
Publication date30/04/2016
Publication date online15/03/2016
Date accepted by journal11/01/2016

People (1)


Dr Tom Collins

Dr Tom Collins

Planning Support Officer, Administration