The ‘Transformation’ of Glasgow in the later 20th century: Overspill, Redeployment and the Culture of Enterprise

Wednesday 21st April 2021 | 7.30pm BST | via Zoom

As lockdown restrictions in Glasgow start to ease, thoughts are inevitably turning to how the city will continue to chart its path out of the pandemic. With the COP26 climate change conference coming our way in November, how can the city best deal with the challenges ahead? 

In our new evening lecture series ‘Transforming Glasgow’, we will be looking to the past for inspiration and possible solutions. The series will focus on how Glasgow has changed and reinvented itself in a variety of ways from the latter half of the 20th century onwards to today. How have these changes come about and what has the impact been? What lessons can be learned?

For the first talk in the series we will be joined by Chik Collins and Ian Levitt, who will discuss Glasgow’s transformation to a post-industrial city. Generally, conversations about industrial decline centre around the idea that it is the result of economic circumstances, rather than something chosen by governments. This presentation will suggest that Glasgow’s experience does not fit this standard view. Evidence will be put forward that indicates Glasgow’s industrial decline was actually embraced and accelerated by Scottish policy makers from the early 1960s as part of a wider regional economic policy agenda seeking ‘development and growth’ in other parts of Scotland. They will argue this policy agenda was sustained for decades and had seriously adverse consequences for the city and its citizens.

Chik Collins is currently Rector of the University of the Faroe Islands. He spent the previous 25 years at the University of the West of Scotland and its predecessor, the University of Paisley, where he was latterly Interim Dean of the School of Media, Culture and Society. He has researched and written on language and social change, urban policy and community development. Professor Collins also worked with the Glasgow Centre for Population Health to explain excess mortality in contemporary Scotland and Glasgow. 

Ian Levitt is Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at the University of Central Lancashire and has written widely on 19th and 20th-century Scottish social and economic history. Alongside Chik Collins, he continues to research the relation between late 20th-century Scottish public policy and excess mortality in Glasgow.

Free, booking required, donations welcome. 

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