Urban Governance into the Future
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A major critique of representative democracy and public bureaucracy has developed over the past two decades, at least in the Anglo-American literature. It argues that the ideas and institutions that informed urban government - the primacy of the elected representative, the administrative role of the public bureaucrat and the state-centric model of public service delivery – are outmoded for the late twentieth-century/early twenty-first-century environment. Various prescriptions are proposed by which this legacy system can be transformed in the anticipation that it will increase the fitness for purpose of urban governance. Some of these prescriptions relate to the managerial process. New public management offers a way of improving innovation, efficiency, customer focus and managerial control. It provides this through a transformation from state–centric to market and quasi-market mechanisms, reconfiguring public administrators into resource managers and the introduction of performance management systems (Hood 1991; Salamon 1981). Network governance emphasises the interconnectivity and complexity of urban public policy and proposes models of process management and interactive decision-making as a means to enhance the effective design and delivery of policy (Koppenjan and Klijn 2004). In a similar vein, ideas about partnership working and collaborative management propose the development of multi–agency and multi-sector bodies through which locally responsive policy can be developed in relation to complex urban problems. They also provide a channel for funding and the commissioning of services and investments (Sullivan and Skelcher 2002).
KeywordsGovernance System European City City Government Representative Democracy Governance Network
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