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date: 18 December 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter offers a critical look at the literature on one of the core questions driving the study of local politics—namely who or what governs local democracy. I outline the different theories, summarize key empirical contributions, and highlight remaining barriers. Partly because existing studies have either focused too narrowly or have been unable to test each of the different theoretical perspectives against other in a single model, the literature has not yet provided a clear answer to this question. In the conclusion, I highlight some potentially rewarding research areas that emerge from these gaps in the literature or from recent demographic or technological transformations.

Keywords: local politics, democracy, power, policy, urban politics, governance, representation, issues, public opinion

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