- Studying Politics in an Urban World: Research Traditions and New Directions
- Intralocal Competition and Cooperation
- Urban Politics and the New Institutionalism
- Urban Governance
- Elections and Policy Responsiveness
- Urban Politics as Multilevel Analysis
- Cities in Intergovernmental Systems
- Bureaucracy and Democracy in Local Government
- Reforming Local Government Institutions and the New Public Management
- A Place to Party?: Parties and Nonpartisanship in Local Government
- Local Democracy and Citizenship
- Neighborhoods and Civic Practice
- Social Movements in Urban Politics: Trends in Research and Practice
- Social Capital
- The Centrality of Racial and Ethnic Politics in American Cities and Towns
- Poverty and Social Exclusion
- Polarization and Enclaves in Cities
- Immigrant Incorporation into Urban Politics
- Cultural Conflicts, Religion, and Urban Politics
- What Cities Do: How Much Does Urban Policy Matter?
- Setting City Agendas: Power and Policy Change
- The Politics of Urban Growth and Decline
- Competitive Cities
- Urban Violence in the United States and France: Comparing Los Angeles (1992) and Paris (2005)
- Cities and the Politics of Sustainability
- Justice, Urban Politics, and Policy
- Cities and Politics in the Developing World: Why Decentralization Matters
- The Wired City: A New Face of Power?: A Citizen Perspective
- Suburban Politics
- Building Metropolitan Institutions
- Emerging Research Agendas
Abstract and Keywords
This article evaluates which of the two competing visions provides the model for most local government. The first vision is of a nonpartisan, politically neutral local government, while the second is of local government as a place where wider national party battles are fought and refought and where ideological concerns and party interest dominate decision-making. The article sets out the party political context within which local politics operates and surveys the ground where nonpartisan alternatives or smaller parties must exist. It looks at the range of political alternatives to the main parties and examines their contribution to, and the implications for, local politics.
Colin Copus is Professor of Local Politics and Director of the Local Governance Research Unit in the Department of Politics and Public Policy, De Montfort University. His main research interests are: local political leadership, local party politics, local governance, and the changing role of the councillor and he has published widely on these subjects in academic journals. He has carried out research work for government departments and worked with ministers and MPs on policy issues. He has worked closely with practitioners in local government on a range of consultancy and research projects. Colin has been the editor Local Government Studies since 2001. He has also served as a councillor on a London Borough council, a county and a district council and three parish councils.
Melvin Wingfield is Senior Research Fellow in the Local Governance Research Unit, Department of Politics and Public Policy, De Montfort University.
Kristof Steyvers is a Lecturer at the Centre for Local Politics, Department of Political Science of Ghent University, Belgium.
Herwig Reynaert is Professor of Political Science, Director of the Center for Local Politics and Dean of the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences at Ghent University.
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