Political Leadership in the New Urban Governance: Britain and France Compared

Peter John, Alistair Cole

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The tension between leadership and democracy is always implicit in the governance of the contemporary city. The qualities that make local political systems work are the same ones that can undermine the claims of liberal democracy to be an effective and responsive type of government. Yet there are circumstances when strong leadership combines with effective democratic control. In particular, we argue in this paper that there are creative pathways that local political leaders may take to mobilise local communities for collective action; and skilful leaders can raise the governing capacity of local communities. To achieve these contradictory aims, there are a variety of leadership styles that emerge in different contexts, and each has its costs and benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRenewing Local Democracy?
Subtitle of host publicationThe Modernisation Agenda in British Local Government
EditorsLawrence Pratchett
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherFrank Cass Publishers
Pages98 - 115
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781315038421
ISBN (Print)9780714650463, 9780714680958
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000


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