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New Century Local Government

Commonwealth Perspectives

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Democratic decentralisation through ‘conventional’ institutions of local government is facing increasing challenges, whether from financial pressures, questions of representativeness, difficult central-local relations and from a perhaps growing belief that local government has failed to realise its potential and there may be better ways of achieving societal goals. It is clear there is need to contemplate quite radical change to ensure local government becomes or remains ‘fit for purpose’.



This collection of papers illustrates the way in which the role of local government is evolving in different parts of the Commonwealth and provides practical examples of new local government at work. It showcases emerging practice, and highlights success stories from new ways of working and challenges confronting local government in both developed and developing countries.



New Century Local Government makes a very valuable contribution to helping understand the changing role of local government, and will ensure that practitioners are up-to-date with the most innovative initiatives in local government planning and administration.

English

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Ironic Localism and a Critical History of English ‘Reform'

There are two particular challenges in writing about the outlook for twenty-first century local government in England, and the forces that may come into play, especially with the implication that we are drawing lessons which might benefit local government in the rest of the Commonwealth. The first is to avoid seeking to pre-empt events and foresee trends that stretch into the future, inevitably beyond our own existences. The second is to resist the temptation to describe our own time as somehow historically special; a stage of history at which our successors’ destiny will be decided.

English

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