A discussion of the way local governments have undertaken public policies during the last decade, this book analyzes the implications of these policies for local autonomy and local government. The contributors focus on privatization, industrial policy, economic initiatives and radical politics in such countries as Britain, America, France and Scandinavia. This text aims to outline both the empirical and theoretical implications of these local government policies drawing on current discussions of recent 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 editor's aim is to provide a collection of papers which document and interpret the changing economic and political situations of local governments in various advanced countries. This is a laudable goal and a great deal of useful empirical information is provided throughout the book. Challenges to Local Government is a valuable resource for those seeking a factual, descriptive account of recent changes in central-local relations and local government programs in the United Kingdom and selected advanced countries. It is a collection that invites us to develop more complex conceptions of the processes involved in local state research, and to engage with alternative critical perspectives such as feminism' - Environment and Planning `contributes to the scholarly literature about the role of decentralized government in modern society' - Professor George Jones
`The thirteen chapters in this book...demonstrate an impressive and stimulating range of international material, from Britain, the US, Canada, Scandinavia and other EC countries....The chapter on the `free communes' in various Scandinavian countries by Lawrence Rose is excellent, and Warren Magnusson's survey of Canadian cities a model of compression....It is likely to influence thinking and teaching on local government for several years to come.' - Local Government Studies
`This is a high-quality series of essays written by a group of well-known students of local government and local economies....This book is the product of an ECPR Work Group; would that all such groups produced outputs of this quality' - Political Studies
`lucid development of fresh ideas with good empirical description. King and Pierre offer a useful collection of essays...the general high quality of the essays is likely to make it a feature of urban politics least for a years to come, especially as the focus of the bulk of essays is British' - International Journal of Urban and Regional Research
`King and Pierre have produced a book that is at once timely and topical given these times for crusades for greater government accountability. The book is extremely readable. It treats otherwise complex topics in a lucid and interesting manner. Each chapter provides a wide range of references. The references should prove useful to those interested in doing additional reading on the subject. The book clearly brings out the impact of various economic and political developments on local governments' - International Review of Administrative Sciences