Declining election turnout, indifference to politics and public affairs, together with a growing demand for citizen participation in Europe and elsewhere have prompted the adoption of new and more interactive forms of governance. Initiatives have primarily focused on institutional reforms to streamline decision making within town halls to provide a more focused leadership through stengthened roles for mayors and councillors. At first sight there appears to be no common trend in the reforms. Yet there are many commonalities and convergences that link these several developments and prompt a search for underlying themes. Based on empirical research in eleven countries, Transforming Political Leadership in Local Government assesses the new and emerging patterns of political executives in local government and the transformation of local political leadershhip. Countries analysed include Belgium, Britain, Denmark, France, German, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. Key aspects of the transformation of political leadership include the involvement of lay politicians, political accountability, new forms of political leadership, recruitment of politicians and their relations with the bureaucracy.

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