Local Elites in Western Democracies: A Comparative Analysis of Urban Political Leaders in the United States, Sweden, and the Netherlands

What kinds of leadership do we have today in the cities of the U.S. and other Western democracies? At a time of widespread urban crisis, with worsening social and economic conditions and shrinking resources, the character of local leadership is a major concern. Because local leaders' decisions affect the lives of most people more immediately than those of presidents or monarchs, we need to know who these leaders are, what they believe in, what they do, and how effective their actions are in community problem-solving. Through an extensive and original comparative analysis of mayors, council members, department heads, and party leaders in 55 middle-sized cities, this internationally renowned author team gives us a clear, candid picture of our leaders' political and social backgrounds, their perceptions of problems, their political values, and their past and current experience in mobilizing support for their policies. Anyone concerned about "the problem of the cities" on a global scale will find here unique urban profiles that are both disturbing and reassuring. And for all who are interested in democratic theory-testing, this book provides a benchmark of empirical and normative analysis.

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and Structures
An Exploratory Approach
Comparative Perspectives on Local Leadership in Western

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