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Back to Panel Details
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Councillors: Representation, Governing and Political Innovation at the Local Level

Local Government
Political Leadership
Political Parties
P073
Colin Copus
De Montfort University
Filipe Teles
Universidade de Aveiro

Thursday 15:50 - 17:30 (08/09/2016)

Building: Faculty of Social Sciences Floor: Ground Room: FS014

Abstract

Councillors conduct the business of representation, make political decisions and act as governors of their local communities within a range of institutional settings (Back et al, Reynaert et al, 2005). They also operate in a series of complex and shifting governance networks which shape the activities they undertake, pressures they experience, interactions they engage in and relationships they forge with communities (Kooiman, 2003, Stoker, 2004, Denters and Rose, 2005). Moreover, the office of councillor is subject to constant change in the shape, nature, process, powers, roles and responsibilities that it holds (Berg and Rao, 2005, Back, 2006, Goldsmith and Page, 2010, Heinelt, 2013). The panel will explore how the varied roles, tasks and functions of the councillor are developing to meet externally generated challenges and pressures and shifting expectations and understandings of the office of councillor. The panel will also examine changing organisational architecture, engagement in complex governance networks and the nature of central and local government constitutional arrangements support or hinder councillors in acting as a representative, a decision-maker and governor. Papers will address the following questions: 1. How do councillors’ roles as a representative, decision-maker and governor, display themselves and how can they be better understood, hypothesised and conceptualised? 2. How has the changing context of local government and recent structural and /or functional reforms across Europe, affected councillor role behaviour? 3. What impact does the role played by parties in local government have on the relationship between the councillor and the citizenry / community, especially in the context of enhanced citizen participation? 4. How do councillors energise political action and change within their communities 5. What strategies do councillors employ when engaging in governance networks consisting of organisations with no democratic mandate The panel papers will provide a framework from within which local representation and democracy can be better understood. References Back, H., H. Heinelt and A. Magnier (eds), The European Mayor: Political Leaders in the Changing Context of Local Democracy, Urban and Regional Research International, VS Verlag for Sozialwissenschaften, 2006. Berg, R., and N. Rao (eds) Transforming Local Political Leadership, Palgrave, 2005. Goldsmith, M., and E. Page., (eds), Changing Government Relations in Europe: from Localism to Intergovernmentalism, Routledge / ECPR, 2010 Reynaert, H., K. Steyvers, P. Delwitt and J-B, Pilet (eds), Revolution or Renovation: Reforming Local Politics in Europe, Vanden Broele, 2005.

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