chapter  1
11 Pages

Introduction

WithJohn Fenwick, Lorraine Johnston

The corollary of local leadership of economic development initiatives is, of course, that they are competitive. In South Africa, for instance, local economic development agencies have succeeded in leading economic development at local level where local municipalities have proven unable to do so due to a heavily bureaucratic structure and a lack of relevant capacity and skills. Yet, structural change of local councils continues to be an obsession of UK central government, perhaps based on the hope that it will somehow produce greater efficiency or effectiveness, or possibly, greater compliance. N. Keuffer refers to ways in which local autonomy in the federal system of Switzerland has impacted upon local reforms, including institutional changes, examining the ‘consequences’ of local policies, where he detects, in a Swiss context, a gradual loss of local autonomy. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.