Democratic Sustainability in a New Era of Localism: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Democratic Sustainability in a New Era of Localism

1st Edition

By John Stanton


188 pages

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Change and development are going on all around us. On both an international platform, as well as at the local governmental and community level, governments, decision and policy makers constantly strive to improve the world in which we live, seeking to make it better and to improve quality of life.

This book focuses on such development in the context of localism in the UK. It strips the principle of local sustainability down to its constituent parts and considers the extent to which it can be said to be central to local life. As part of this, it presents the case for the importance of accountability and citizen participation in achieving objectives aligned with sustainability, and illustrates the relationships that these principles share. On this foundation, it evaluates local government in the UK, as well as examples of community-led regeneration initiatives and bodies, and seeks to determine both the nature of their pursuit of sustainability and the extent to which accountability and citizen participation play a part in that pursuit.

It shows that local sustainability is enhanced by accountability and citizen participation; those principles ensuring that local people can be central to the process. Whilst its evaluations of local democratic systems in the UK reveal certain issues as regards the extent to which this is reflected in practice, it at least demonstrates an enthusiasm and awareness of the important role that accountability and citizen participation can play in the process of local sustainability.

The book is aimed at legal academics, with relevance also to students in law, environmental politics and sustainable development, as well as those working in government policy and political practice.


"This book provides the first detailed study of the application of the democratic principles in the context of local sustainability. It constructs a robust argument in support of strong leadership, decentralisation of power and the empowerment of local citizens for community regeneration in support of sustainable development."Journal of Environmental Law, Victoria Jenkins, University of Swansea

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Sustainable Development in the UK 3. Local democracy and decision-making: accountability and participation 4. Local Government Democracy and Sustainability 5. The New Deal and the Big Society: Democracy, decision-making and sustainability 6. Democracy in sustainability: The wider world and lessons for the future

About the Author

Dr John Stanton is Lecturer in Law, The City Law School, City University London, United Kingdom.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Sustainability

Sustainability has become one of the most pressing social, environmental, economic, cultural and political issues of our times. Yet the meaning of ‘sustainability’ remains elusive.

This series provides original insights from across the social sciences and humanities on the meaning and practice of sustainability. It offers both theoretical and practical analysis of ‘sustainability’, including social sustainability, sustainable consumption, democratic sustainability and sustainable behaviour.

These interdisciplinary books give students, researchers, policy makers and practitioners the latest thinking from international authors. This thought-provoking series draws on and is relevant to those working in a wide-range of disciplines, including environment, development, sociology, politics, philosophy, business and marketing, media, geography, and anthropology.

To submit proposals, please contact the Editor, Rebecca Brennan (

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Economic Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Environmental Economics
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy