This volume was first published in 1979, just a few years after the Local Government Act of 1972 redrew the map of British local government. Local authorities were also encouraged to change their organization and methods of work; anxiety was expressed about finance, councillor 'calibre' and the credibility of the whole system itself; and neighbourhood councils and public participation in planning were introduced. John Dearlove's aim is to make sense of these changes and the discussion they generated. He does this by showing that both the official case for reorganization and the academic discussion of it have hindered their own understanding by uncritically accepting superficial traditional wisdoms which fail to reveal the concealed ideological positions behind reorganization. Thus, he aims to develop a truly political perspective on reorganisation which is rounded out and given greater depth by the insertion at appropriate points of comparative material drawn from American experience and studies.