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Scottish Local Government

Allan McConnell

Paperback

Regular Price: £28.99

Special Price £20.29

Hardback

Regular Price: £95.00

Special Price £66.50

This book fills an important gap in our understanding of Scottish local government in the dynamic new context of the Scottish Parliament. It provides academics, students, practitioners, journalists and others with a broad-ranging yet detailed account, not just of how local government actually works, but also the main political issues and debates surrounding its multi-faceted roles in contemporary Scotland.

It covers issues such as

  • The nature and purpose of Scottish local government
  • The strengths and weaknesses of unitary authorities
  • Modernisation of political management arrangements
  • Roles and remuneration for councillors
  • Electoral reform and new methods for encouraging citizen participation
  • The growth of non-elected local governance
  • Best Value and the rise of the performance culture
  • The politics of council finance: including business rates, Council Tax and PFI
  • The wider context of central-local relations, multi-level governance and globalization

The book contains a wealth of facts, figures, tables and diagrams. The accompanying analysis draws, in a supportive way, on literature from the traditions of public policy, public administration and political science. The end result is an original, modern, accessible analysis of Scottish local government in the context of devolution. A particular focus throughout is assessing the 'distinctiveness' of Scottish local government compared to the rest of the UK, and addressing the question - to what extent has devolution made a difference to Scottish local government?

Key Features

  • Only modern work of its kind - fills a gap in our understanding of local government in Scotland
  • Accessible - offers the facts of how Scottish local government works, combined with incisive political analysis
  • Places Scottish local government in the context of the Scottish Parliament, Westminster, the EU and an increasingly globalised world

Contents

Contents
Introduction
1. Thinking Politically: The Nature of Local Government in Scotland
2. Mapping the Networks and Relationships of Scottish Local Authorities
3. Scottish Local Authority Structures: From Feudal Burghs to Single-Tier Authorities
4. Council Decision-Making Structures: From Traditional Administration to Post-Devolution Modernisation
5. Councillors, Elections and the Electoral System: A Healthy Democratic Foundation?
6. Beyond Elections: Non-Electoral Forms of Public Participation and Non-Elected Local Governance
7. Political Parties in Scottish Local Government
8. Reconstructing Accountability: Value for Money and the Rise of the Performance Culture in Scottish Councils
9. Financing Scottish Local Government
10. The Bigger Picture: Central-Local Relations, Multi-Level Governance and Globalisation
Conclusion: Has Devolution Made a Difference to Local Government in Scotland?.

About the Author

Allan McConnell is Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at the University of Sydney. He is author of The Politics and Policy of Local Taxation in Britain (1999) and State Policy Formation and the Origins of the Poll Tax (1995).

Reviews

A critical reminder of the roles and essential position lower tier authorities must have in a healthy civil society. I would recommend it to any organiser of a course on this subject, but also would direct researchers and commentators who need to be informed in this area to make this their first port of call. Indeed, given the robust and objective analysis – albeit delivered with a smouldering anger – of the attacks on the integrity and democratic accountability of local government by the Conservative administrations of the 1980s and 1990s, this should be compulsory reading for any new politician or commentator in this field.
- International Journal of Public Sector Management
A long overdue book that is an excellent addition to the post-devolution literature on Scottish politics. It represents a thoroughly well researched, structured and focused text that will serve the undergraduate textbook market for local government studies. It fills a major gap in the market in Scotland, but should also be considered as a useful addition for those teaching UK local government and urban politics classes... A very well written book which strikes the right balance between description and analysis. A well thought out structure and approach results in a very coherent end product.
- Local Government Studies
A long overdue book, that is an excellent introduction to the post-devolution literature on Scottish politics. It represents a thoroughly well researched, structured and focused text that will serve the undergraduate textbook market for local government studies. It fills a major gap in the market in Scotland, but should also be considered as a useful addition for those teaching UK local government and urban politics classes… [Scottish local Government] should be placed at the top of reading lists for undergraduate courses on Scottish public administration and politics.
- Local Government Studies
Comprehensive in examining local government, well-written, and contains a substantial theoretical and conceptual element.
- Public Administration
This is a thorough, short, intelligent and often tart account of Scottish local government… it is one of the first truly devolved books about Scottish politics This book takes Scottish devolution as a fact…and instead discusses how policy and administration work in Scotland. It is good to see Scotland as a case of public administration and public policy rather than of just nationalism and territorial politics.
- Political Studies Review