Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Local Government in a Global World

Local Government in a Global World: Australia and Canada in Comparative Perspective

  • Book Info
    Local Government in a Global World
    Book Description:

    Unique in its thematic selection and in its compare-and-contrast structure,Local Government in a Global Worldprovides a valuable reference for those seeking to understand how effective local government is structured and managed.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-9856-7
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-viii)

    I received this manuscript with great pleasure because I had a modest role to play in its conception. In 2004, when I was Director of Research at the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC), I organized a small conference in Toronto on the theme of ‘Municipal Performance and Measurement: International Perspectives.’ I worked diligently to craft a program that featured the cutting-edge practices in Canada, the United States, and Great Britain. The staff in the Ministry of Municipal Affairs of the Government of Ontario, however, was very keen to have a certain Professor John Martin from Australia give a...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-2)
    Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly and John F. Martin
  5. 1 Local Government in a Global World: Australia and Canada in Comparative Perspective
    (pp. 3-34)

    Federal states, in both the developed and the developing world, now look to their systems of local government to play a central role in the economic and social development of metropolitan and rural communities. It is recognized that such development is a partnership between higher levels of government and these communities (Adams and Hess, 2006); however, as this book reveals, striking the balance is not easy.

    This book explores and compares changes that have taken place in the Australian and Canadian local government systems, relying on four thematic lenses: citizen participation and governance in local decisions, the restructuring and reforms...

  6. 2 Citizen Participation and Local Governance: The Australian Experience
    (pp. 35-54)

    The past two decades in Australia have witnessed a sustained program of public sector reform at all levels of government. Consistent with international experience, there has been some decentralizing activity that has enhanced local autonomy and facilitated citizen participation. Despite this effort, the basic nexus between state and local governments has not yet been reformed in ways that fully embrace local government as an active and integral participant in the Australian federation. Nevertheless, there are signs that some of the more recent developments at state and local government levels may enhance citizen participation in government through participatory governance.

    This chapter...

  7. 3 ‘You Say You Want an Evolution?’ From Citizen to Community Engagement in Canadian Cities
    (pp. 55-80)

    Citizen engagement is at once old and new for local governments in Canada. Consulting with and involving citizens through various means in policy development and planning, outside of elections, have been regular practices for municipal governments for the past thirty years. Provincial legislation mandates public consultation in official land use planning and certain other circumstances, and requires that all debate and decision-making by local councils be conducted in public. Municipal governments, especially those in the larger urban centres, have generally gone far beyond their provincially legislated obligations for engaging citizens, however. Indeed, they have been leaders in citizen participation in...

  8. 4 Restructuring and Reform: Australia
    (pp. 81-107)

    During the 1990s Australia’s local government sector began a process of extensive structural reform. The impetus for this reform came partly from actions taken by state governments and partly from initiatives that arose from within municipalities themselves. This chapter explores the four main dimensions of the reform process. The first section considers how, and why, the scope of council functions have expanded significantly. The second considers the widespread consolidation programs that have been implemented in five of Australia’s six states and evaluates their effectiveness. The third section considers the resurgence of regional voluntary cooperation between municipalities that has taken place...

  9. 5 Restructuring and Reform: Canada
    (pp. 108-129)

    Since the early 1990s, municipal officials in many parts of Canada have spent much of their time worrying about restructuring, debating it, or trying to implement it. Now that the dust has settled, there is not a great deal to show for all the activity. The municipal world in Canada is not dramatically different now than it was then, except that there are fewer municipalities and some very big ones, both in terms of population and territory. Such absence of fundamental change is surprising because elsewhere in the world governments at all levels have been swept by the effects of...

  10. 6 Performance Management in Australian Local Government
    (pp. 130-153)

    As Chris Aulich (chapter 2, this volume) and Neil Marshall (chapter 4, this volume) have already highlighted, significant restructuring and reform in Australian local government have been driven by an ideological agenda from higher levels of government that puts greater emphasis on local governance, outcomes-oriented performance, and accountability to stakeholders, typically referred to as the new public management (NPM; Hood, 1995).

    All Australian local government state acts from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s were changed to ‘enabling’ legislation (more general ‘powers of competence’) to give local governments more autonomy to determine the future of their own community (Wensing, 1997;...

  11. 7 Performance Management in Canadian Local Government: A Journey in Progress or a Dead End?
    (pp. 154-178)

    For the past ten years many of Canada’s local governments have had to comply with provincial legislation requiring that they implement performance measurement systems. Provincial governments in Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and British Columbia have launched requirements for specific measures. In most cases, however, as this chapter documents, these requirements have not really addressed the role and function of citizens or elected officials in the design and implementation of performance measures.

    Furthermore, for the most part, performance measures rather than performance management systems have been implemented in Canadian local governments.¹ Measurement alone cannot improve organizational results. Measures are most likely...

  12. 8 What’s Fair? Intergovernmental Relations in Australia
    (pp. 179-212)

    At its 2005 National General Assembly of Local Government, the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) launched a campaign for ‘fair federal funding of local government, fair treatment of local government by state and federal governments, and formal recognition of local government in the Australian Constitution’ (Bell 2005).

    ALGA’s ‘log of claims’ highlights a central paradox in local government’s relations within the Australian federation: legally, it is a creature of the states, but it is the federal government that provides the bulk of grant funding to councils, and it is largely federal policies that have propelled local government on to the...

  13. 9 No Joke! Local Government and Intergovernmental Relations in Canada
    (pp. 213-237)

    There is a common joke that a good Canadian can turn almost anything into an intergovernmental issue. But the question of how local governments in Canada relate to provincial/territorial governments and to the federal government is not a joking matter. That is because locality has re-emerged as a key organizing concept for Canadians, after what might be described as an era of provincial ascendance in the period from the end of the Second World War until the turn of the millennium. Indeed, one of Canada’s leading economists has come to conclude that Canada is now characterized by ‘hourglass federalism,’ whereby...

  14. 10 Local Government in a Global World: Comparing Findings and Conclusions
    (pp. 238-252)

    The object of this collection of essays has been to compare changes that have occurred in Australia’s and Canada’s local government system during the past two decades. A second objective was to evaluate the evidence regarding the impact of globalization on local governments, their local bureaucracies, and local democratic accountability. Possible outcomes that we have assessed include whether cities have become more influential in the intergovernmental networks, whether central states have become less able or willing to regulate and to organize fiscal equalization, but more likely to encourage intergovernmental competition, and whether we can see the decentralization or the devolution...

  15. Contributors
    (pp. 253-256)
  16. Index
    (pp. 257-268)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 269-269)