This volume provides a timely discussion of how local governments have undertaken public policies during the last decade. Concentrating on Britain and the United States (with chapters also on the Scandinavian countries and France), the contributors document, explain and analyze the implications of these policies for local autonomy and local government, focusing especially upon local economic initiatives.
Both the empirical and theoretical implications of these local government policies are discussed, drawing on recent research on local autonomy, regulationist theory and flexible specialization. In each case the challenge posed to the resources and capacities of local governments in advanced industrial democracies is emphasized. The topics discussed include such policies as privatization, industrial policy, economic initiatives, public-private partnerships, municipal liberalization, business urban initiatives, and local radical politics.
Challenges to Local Government will be of interest to scholars and students in political science, urban studies, sociology, and geography.
"An impressive and stimulating range of international material. . . likely to influence thinking and teaching on local government for several years to come."
--Local Government Studies
"Particularly welcome is the comparative focus of several of the chapters and the attempt to apply the American political economy approach to British local government. That the collection raises more questions than answers is not a fatal defect in a newly developing field. It is a useful if somewhat tentative contribution to the study of comparative urban politics."
--British Politics Group Newsletter
"This book is the product of an ECPR Work Group; would that all such groups produced outputs of this quality."
"...of interest to teachers and students of local administration, as well as to political scientists and economists."
--International Review of Administrative Sciences
"This is a well-structured, informative and interesting book."
--Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy