Although the relationship between elected officials and appointed executives has often been viewed as a struggle between master and servant - with disagreements as to which individuals occupy which role - this volume presents a comparison of city governments in 14 countries which reveals more interdependence and shared influence than conflict over control. The authors bring local government to the forefront, emphasizing the sophisticated level of city management in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Their findings lead to a revision of the general view concerning the boundaries of public administration. The work illustrates in practical ways how democratic control of governmment and professional administration can coexist without undermining the logic or integrity of each other.
Poul Erik Mouritzen, professor of political science at the University of Southern Denmark at Odense, is the author of Managing Cities in Austerity: Urban Fiscal Stress in Ten Western Countries. James H. Svara, professor of political science and public administration at North Carolina State University, is the author of Official Leadership in the City.