This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book provides central theme of most evident in France where town hall external decoration, busts of Marianne within and tricolour mayoral sashes, all became part of a conspicuous process that attempted to wed urban communities to the Third Republican regime after 1871. It suggests to readers that English mayors and Scottish provosts were sufficiently attention-commanding and persuasively illustrative of local elite values to reinforce the attachment of working-class voters to the political system in the decades after the 1867 Reform Act. The book explores mayoral appointment has also generated an arena in which to launch experiments in power-sharing, doing so at a time when political avenues within the broader province have been blocked. It draws a common German distinction between Burgermeisterverfassung and Magistratsverfassung systems of mayoralty, which seem to roughly coincide with the categories of strong and weak mayors.