Published on 21 March 2022
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You’re not speaking my language: policy discontinuity and coordination gaps between the UK’s national economic strategies and its place-based policies

New research by Professor Diane Coyle and Adam Muhtar shows that efforts to tackle widening spatial inequalities in the UK could be improved through better cohesion and utilisation of existing policies.


Lack of consistency and coordination has long been noted as a failing of UK government policies but it has previously been difficult to assess the extent of the policy discontinuity. We present evidence from text analysis of a startling lack of coordination in Government policy with a special focus on the Levelling Up White Paper, the Conservative Government’s flagship policy statement to address spatial inequalities, and its other recent national economic policy documents. We confirm this linguistic discontinuity by analysing the context of statements about innovation policies from the Plan for Growth and Innovation Strategy with those in the Levelling Up White Paper. ‘Joined-up government’ is as far away as ever in the UK, in the context of the systemic challenges of spatial economic inequality.


Joined-up government, policy coordination, innovation, levelling up


Diane Coyle 2018

Professor Diane Coyle

Bennett Professor of Public Policy and Co-Director of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy

Professor Coyle co-directs the Bennett Institute with Professor Kenny. She is heading research under the progress and productivity themes. Biography Professor Dame Diane Coyle is the Bennett Professor of Public Policy at...

Adam Muhtar

Affiliated Researcher

Adam Muhtar is a Data Scientist at the Bank of England, working on projects that aim to generate actionable insights from high-dimensional unstructured data using natural language processing, network science,...

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