Debates about multi-level governance have led to a profound restructuring of regional and local government. The second level of local government is under review in most European countries, with the aim to strengthen the institutional capacity of municipalities or to develop appropriate institutional structures for governing fragmented urban areas.

This book provides a thematic and cross-national analysis of the key actors in local government that form the crucial components of effective and democratic policy making. Focussing on the second tier of local government, it examines new empirical data on councillors from this level of government in 15 European countries and integrates important variables such as party politics, notions of democracy, finance, multi-level settings. Divided into five parts, it addresses:

    • Attitudes of county/provincial councillors towards administrative and territorial reforms;
    • Their role perceptions and role behaviour;
    • Their political orientation;
    • Actor constellations and governance arrangements;
    • Political socialization and recruitment, professionalization and career patterns of county/provincial councillors.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of local government, urban studies, regional studies, political science, sociology and geography.

chapter 1|14 pages


part |60 pages

Part I

chapter 2|16 pages

County councils in a multi-level position

Formal powers and assumed autonomy

chapter 4|21 pages

County councillors

Between revenue shortfalls and growing responsibilities

part |60 pages

Part III

part |74 pages

Part IV

chapter 12|24 pages

The political career of county councillors in Europe

Examining the internal logic of professionalization and comparative country patterns

chapter 14|21 pages

Family, ambition, local rootedness and party

A study of the activation and apprenticeships of the county councillor in Europe