When do institutions, policy sectors, and cities matter? comparing networks of local policy makers in Britain and France

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Abstract

This article explores the relative influence of policy sectors, political institutions, and urban contexts on the operation of contemporary governance. The research compared the membership, structure, governing capacity, and change of local economic development and secondary education policy networks in four cities: Lille and Rennes in France and Leeds and Southampton in the United Kingdom. The main finding is that the type of policy sector mediates the impact of political institutions. There are strong differences between French and British education policy networks but similarities between the economic policy networks. There is variation by city in economic development networks but much less in secondary education. The implication of the findings is that some sectors, such as economic development, tend to be similar across nation-states and permit subnational variation, whereas others retain strong country differences and maintain intrastate uniformity, a finding that is consistent with the longevity of state traditions. In the transition from government to governance, institutional, sectoral, and urban processes become contingent on each other and on their contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-268
Number of pages21
JournalComparative Political Studies
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2000

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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