In recent decades there has been increasing historical interest in various aspects of local urban politics, resulting in a much better understanding of the recruitment and socio-economic characteristics of municipal leadership and the exercise of power at a local level. However, much less is known about the highly important offices and office-holders standing at the ceremonial, political and executive head of towns and cities. Through a comparative analysis of mayoralty since1800, this volume explores the characteristics of the office in relation to such issues as the constitutional position of mayors, their ceremonial and executive roles, their representational status in relation to local, regional and central authority, and their public visibility, which at various times has been used to highlight or blur issues of race, gender, politics or religion within a community. Drawing on examples from contrasting national contexts in Eastern and Western Europe, and North America, and with contributions from both historians and political scientists, this book will be welcomed as an important step in providing a much fuller international picture of the development and nature of urban governance.

chapter |9 pages


chapter ONE|18 pages

English Mayors: What are they for?

chapter FIVE|36 pages

The End of French Mayors?

chapter EIGHT|16 pages

The Mayoralty in Italy