Urban Governance and Democracy: Leadership and Community Involvement

Urban Governance and Democracy: Leadership and Community Involvement

Urban Governance and Democracy: Leadership and Community Involvement

Urban Governance and Democracy: Leadership and Community Involvement


The issue of local governance is high on the institutional agenda of many local and regional authorities throughout the OECD countries. This book explores the relationship between two key issues of urban governance - leadership and community involvement - and how making these two elements more complementary can lead to more effective as well as legitimate policy outcomes. The authors examine the dilemmas involved in ensuring effective governance, focusing on issues such as legitimacy, citizen participation, economic performance and social inclusion.


An institutional analysis

Pieter-Jan Klok and Bas Denters

Institutional rules play a major role in the conceptual framework described in Chapter 2, both in terms of 'context variables' and the 'institutional design of local systems of governance'. It is therefore essential to develop a clear understanding of different types of rules and how they can be recognised when analysing actual governance structures and the behaviour of actors within these structures. This chapter deals with the institutional analysis of a complementarity of urban leadership and community involvement. The following section provides a short description of the 'Institutional Analysis and Development' (IAD) framework (Ostrom et al. 1994) (with a possible operationalisation of the key variables described in an annex). This is followed by a clarification of the links between the key forms of democratic legitimation described in Chapter 2 and the variables central to institutional analysis. On pages 47-49, the IAD framework is used to conceptualise the possible roles of leadership in enhancing effective community involvement. At this point the analysis arrives at the core question addressed in this book as a whole (and set out in Chapter 2). How can the simple co-existence of leadership and community involvement become 'complementary' in the sense that it maximises the opportunities, and minimises the risks, of interaction and increased interdependency between the two.

On pages 49-55, we will turn to an empirical example - the rebuilding of Roombeek, the neighbourhood of the city of Enschede that was destroyed by a major fireworks explosion in 2000. These sections provide a practical example of the institutional analysis of combinations of leadership and community involvement that might be seen as a complementarity, illustrating both the usefulness of the approach in describing such a complementarity and the way in which the operationalisation can be transformed into descriptions on a case level. Pages 55-61 provide an example of institutional redesign as a form of meta-governance by leaders.

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