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U.S.-style leadership for english local government?

Hambleton, Robin; Sweeting, David


David Sweeting


Significant changes in the political management of local authorities in the United Kingdom are now taking place as a result of legislation passed by the Labour government since 1997. The new political management models aim to modernize local governance by strengthening local leadership, streamlining decision making, and enhancing local accountability. These changes owe much to U.S. experience: They involve the introduction of a separation of powers between an executive and an assembly, and they allow local authorities to introduce directly elected mayors for the first time ever. Is U.K. local government beginning to adopt what might be described as U.S.-style approaches to local governance? The evidence suggests the new institutional designs for U.K. local authorities represent a radical shift toward U.S.-style local leadership and decision making. However, the U.K. central state remains heavily involved in the details of local decision making, to an extent that would be unthinkable in the United States.


Hambleton, R., & Sweeting, D. (2004). U.S.-style leadership for english local government?. Public Administration Review, 64(4), 474-488.

Journal Article Type Review
Publication Date Jul 1, 2004
Deposit Date Jan 22, 2010
Journal Public Administration Review
Print ISSN 0033-3352
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 64
Issue 4
Pages 474-488
Keywords U.S.-style leadership, English local government
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : Lead author. Based on the ESRC research project 'Leadership in urban governance: the mobilisation of collaborative advantage' (grant ref: L130 25 1031).