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  • Author or Editor: David Sweeting x
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This article addresses the question ‘How strong is the Mayor of London?’ from two perspectives: the distinction between ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ mayors that emerged from American urban political analysis; and the strength of mayors outside the formal confines of their office in governance. It is argued that, while the Mayor of London is strong in the Greater London Authority, he is weak in London governance, as the Mayor has limited local autonomy, is heavily reliant on central government for funding, has no party connections, and as yet he has not harnessed latent governmental or nongovernmental capacity in London.

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Impact and Practice
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Directly elected mayors are political leaders who are selected directly by citizens and head multi-functional local government authorities. This book examines the contexts, features and debates around this model of leadership, and how in practice political leadership is exercised through it.

The book draws on examples from Europe, the US, and Australasia to examine the impacts, practices, and debates of mayoral leadership in different cities and countries. Themes that recur throughout include the formal and informal powers that mayors exercise, their relationships with other actors in governance - both inside municipalities and in broader governance networks - and the advantages and disadvantages of the mayoral model.

Both qualitative and quantitative approaches are used to build a picture of views of and on directly elected mayors in different contexts from across the globe. This book will be a valuable resource for those studying or researching public policy, public management, urban studies, politics, law, and planning.

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This chapter opens the work by introducing directly elected mayors as political leaders in systems of urban government, and the expectations that are placed upon them. It identifies the core features of the directly elected mayor model, of direct election, of the creation of a single identifiable leader with a secure term of office, before discussing its advantages and disadvantages. Directly elected mayors are then placed in the context of urban governance, urbanization, and globalization. The chapter ends with a description of the other chapters that comprise the book.

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This chapter draws conclusions from across the contributions to this work, relating to the importance and forms of mayoral power, the influence of political parties, the influence of mayors in governance (both locally and at other levels), over business, and in economic development in a globalised context. The work concludes with discussion over representational aspects in mayoral governance, and offers suggestions for further avenues of research.

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This book is about directly elected mayors; political leaders who are elected directly by citizens to head multi-functional local government authorities. The book examines the contexts, features and debates around the model, and how in practice political leadership is exercised through it. The book draws on examples from the Europe, the US, and Australasia to examine the impacts, practices, and debates of mayoral leadership in different cities and countries. Themes that recur throughout include the formal and informal powers that mayors exercise, their relationships with other actors in governance, both inside municipalities and in broader governance networks, and the advantages and disadvantages of the model. The work draws on a variety of sources, including both qualitative and quantitative approaches, to build a picture of views of and on mayors in different contexts from across the globe.

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This book is about directly elected mayors; political leaders who are elected directly by citizens to head multi-functional local government authorities. The book examines the contexts, features and debates around the model, and how in practice political leadership is exercised through it. The book draws on examples from the Europe, the US, and Australasia to examine the impacts, practices, and debates of mayoral leadership in different cities and countries. Themes that recur throughout include the formal and informal powers that mayors exercise, their relationships with other actors in governance, both inside municipalities and in broader governance networks, and the advantages and disadvantages of the model. The work draws on a variety of sources, including both qualitative and quantitative approaches, to build a picture of views of and on mayors in different contexts from across the globe.

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This book is about directly elected mayors; political leaders who are elected directly by citizens to head multi-functional local government authorities. The book examines the contexts, features and debates around the model, and how in practice political leadership is exercised through it. The book draws on examples from the Europe, the US, and Australasia to examine the impacts, practices, and debates of mayoral leadership in different cities and countries. Themes that recur throughout include the formal and informal powers that mayors exercise, their relationships with other actors in governance, both inside municipalities and in broader governance networks, and the advantages and disadvantages of the model. The work draws on a variety of sources, including both qualitative and quantitative approaches, to build a picture of views of and on mayors in different contexts from across the globe.

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This chapter considers whether the introduction of a directly elected mayor form of political leadership can make a difference to the governance of a city. To do so we present research results from a study of governance reform in Bristol, UK, which introduced a directly elected mayor in 2012. The views of Bristol citizens and civic leaders are analysed using an evaluation framework encompassing different aspects of urban political leadership. The new model of governance has led to: a startling increase in the visibility of city leadership, the development of a clear vision for the future of the city, and a boost to Bristol’s reputation as an inventive city. However, data shows public perceptions of trust in and timeliness of decision-making have not improved. Also, for some the mayoral model concentrates too much power in the hands of one individual, and impairs the quality of representative democracy because it weakens the vital role of councillors in the governance of the city. Conclusions are drawn highlighting themes emerging from the Bristol experience that could be of interest to wider debates about how to improve the quality and effectiveness of urban governance.

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This article explores change in local democracy through analysis of the views of councillors in Britain. It is argued that within an overarching representative process, local democracy takes representative, participatory, market and network forms. Using data gathered by questionnaire and interview, the article analyses the views of councillors on these different forms. It finds that there are differences between councillors in their attitudes to the different versions of democracy, although in the main councillors demonstrate most support for a traditional local representative democratic system. The article concludes that councillors continue to act in a manner that is out of step with the thrust of reform.

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This chapter explores the nature of democracy in neighbourhoods in England in the context of the government’s neighbourhood agenda. It examines tensions between forms of democracy through an analysis of key programmes in the government’s Neighbourhood Renewal Agenda. It notes that the current emphasis on neighbourhood governance promises to reconfigure local democracy and the neighbourhood level is presented as having the potential for widespread citizen participation and engagement. It observes that the government asserts that ‘neighbourhood arrangements must be consistent with local representative democracy’, but government prescription remains ambiguous on the nature of democracy.

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