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Analysing change in urban political leadership: Does introducing a mayoral form of governance make a difference?

Sweeting, David; Hambleton, Robin

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Authors

David Sweeting



Abstract

The reform of the institutions of urban political leadership is often put forward as a means to improve city governance. Introducing alternative arrangements for decision-making within a municipality can redistribute the powers and responsibilities of different actors within a system of urban governance. These changes usually aim to improve the quality of governance by improving such matters as representation, accountability, and public service responsiveness. In 2012, in an unusual move, the citizens of Bristol, UK, decided to abolish the former leader-and cabinet system of decision-making and replace it with a mayoral form of governance – one headed by a directly elected mayor. This paper addresses the question: Does introducing a mayoral form of governance make a difference? With reference to both UK and US literature on city leadership, the paper assesses whether a change in emphasis pertaining to leadership style and/or leadership tasks can be detected in Bristol. The analysis draws on data collected both before and after the introduction of the new system and includes data from surveys of different actors in the city. In doing so we explore debates around the changing nature of urban leadership, and draw initial conclusions that should be of interest to those concerned to enhance the quality of urban governance.

Citation

Sweeting, D., & Hambleton, R. (2015, April). Analysing change in urban political leadership: Does introducing a mayoral form of governance make a difference?. Paper presented at Urban Affairs Annual Conference, Miami, Florida, USA

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name Urban Affairs Annual Conference
Conference Location Miami, Florida, USA
Start Date Apr 8, 2015
End Date Apr 11, 2015
Acceptance Date Apr 9, 2015
Publication Date Apr 9, 2015
Deposit Date Dec 9, 2015
Publicly Available Date Feb 11, 2016
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords city leadership, directly elected mayors, local government, Bristol
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/835965
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : Urban Affairs Association Annual Conference

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