Political leadership at the local level has gained more and more interest in the scholarly and political debate during the last 20 years. Political leadership has been seen as necessary to overcome a highlighted democratic deficit by increasing accountability of core policy makers involved not only in policy making in the city hall but also in administrative reforms or in governance arrangements in which different societal actors play a crucial role. These debates about the importance of political leadership at the local level have had, for instance, a clear impact on the introduction of directly elected mayors in a number of European countries.
Keywordslocal political leadership (directly elected) mayors surveys on local politicians
We would like to express our gratitude to the numerous colleagues who agreed to act as reviewers for single chapters and who helped to sharpen all drafts. This applies particularly to Henry Bäck who reviewed all chapters and gave helpful advice. However, it is of course the sole responsibility of the authors what is finally published in this book—and also of the editors.
We would also like to thank Yannic Kaub who invested a lot of time in painstakingly formatting this book.
The support of the following local government associations was particularly important for successfully conducting the survey in some countries: the Swiss Cities Association, the Austrian Association of Cities, the National Association of Italian Municipalities (ANCI) and the Dutch Mayors’ Association.
Some project partners received grants for carrying out the survey in their countries: The Italian team was supported by the Progetto Strategico di Ateneo 2015 of the University of Florence; the Polish team by the Polish National Science Centre (project ‘European political leaders in local governments’, grant no. 2015/18/M/HS5/00624); in Portugal Enrico Borghetto received support from the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia of Portugal (under Research Grant SFRH/BPD/89968/2012 and FCT Investigator Contract IF/00382/2014) and Daniel Čermák was supported by the Czech Science Foundation (grant ‘Evropský starosta II’, no. GA16-01331S)’.
Moreover, we thank Jemima Warren and the team at Palgrave Macmillan for the pleasant and patient cooperation.
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