A fresh examination of the relationship between two key issues in the on-going debate on urban governance - leadership and community involvement.
It explores the nature of the interaction between community involvement and political leadership in modern local governance by drawing on empirical data gathered from case-studies concerning cities in England, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, and Sweden. It presents both a country specific and cross-cutting analysis of the contributions that communities and leaders can make to more effective local governance.
These country specific chapters are complemented by thematic, comparative chapters addressing alternative forms of community involvement, types and styles of leadership, multi-level governance, institutional restrictions and opportunities for leadership and involvement, institutional conditions underpinning leadership and involvement, and political culture in cities. This up-to-date survey of trends and developments in local governance moves the debate forward by analysing modern governance with reference to theories related to institutional theory, legitimation, and the way urban leadership and community involvement compliment one another.
This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of politics and urban governance, and to all those concerned with questions of local governance and democracy.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction and main findings 2. Sustainability and policy challenge: the cases of economic competitiveness and social inclusion 3. Measuring institutional performance in achieving urban sustainability 4. New urban leaders and community involvement: The Italian case studies 5. Between urban leadership and community involvement: Impacts of EU policies and strong mayors in Greek local government 6. Traces of Governance: Policy networking in Norwegian local government 7. The interplay of central and local: Social inclusion policy from above in Swedish cities 8. Uneven partnerships: Polish city leaders in search of local governance 9. Tackling community leadership in the confined spaces of local governance in England 10. Strong mayors and policy innovations – lessons from two German cities 11. Between vision and consensus: urban leadership and community involvement in the Dutch cases 12. New Zealand: articulating a long-term vision for community well-being 13. Community involvement and legitimation in urban governance: an empirical analysis 14. Local leadership in multi-level governance in Europe 15. Restrictions, opportunities and incentives for leadership and involvement 16. City political culture – what is expected from policy actors? 17. Institutional conditions for complementarities between urban leadership and community involvement 18. The role of political leadership in the promotion of legitimation in urban policy: opportunities and constraints.
"The PLUS collaborators have set a new benchmark for cross-national research in this crucial arena of governance. Researchers in a wide range of relevant fields, from political economy to social policy to the study of civic life, will benefit from close scrutiny of the empirical findings of this project. Although the pluralistic approach of the authors leaves it largely for the reader to draw synthetic conclusions, the overall picture is one of convergent trends across advanced industrial democracies as well as among newer democracies in southern and eastern Europe. At a more general level, the findings underscore the importance of state–society relations and culture within cities as an important element in trajectories of governance worldwide."
Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions, Vol. 21, No. 2, April 2008 (pp. 297–308).