Elected mayors: Lesson drawing from four countries

Elcock, Howard James (2008) Elected mayors: Lesson drawing from four countries. Public Administration, 86 (3). pp. 795-811. ISSN 0033-3298

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9299.2008.00730.x


Countries can and sometimes do copy the institutions and practices of other countries in order to address problems and issues that they have in common with them. The office of directly elected mayor has become an increasingly common feature of local government throughout the developed democracies, spreading from its largely American origins to a range of European states. This paper develops a matrix for the analysis of elected mayors in different countries using as its horizontal axis the formal, informal and individual attributes of elected mayors and, on the vertical axis, their governmental, governance and allegiance roles. The matrix is then applied to analyse studies of elected mayors in four countries: the United States, England, Germany and Greece, in an attempt to derive comparative lessons applicable to the countries included in the analysis, as well as to countries considering or in the process of developing directly elected executive mayors. The issues examined include improving the internal co-ordination of local authorities' departments, the need for network management in increasingly fragmented or 'hollowed out' local government systems and the ways in which mayors attempt to secure their political survival and that of the offices they hold, by securing and retaining the allegiance of voters and stakeholders. It also explores the benefits and dangers of concentrating much formal power and informal influence in a single pair of hands. Its conclusions are offered both to demonstrate ways in which comparative studies of political institutions can be developed and in the hope that they may be of use to mayors and those concerned with the development and reform of local government and governance.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: L200 Politics
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2015 12:16
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 19:30
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/20322

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