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Multilevel Democracy

Multilevel Democracy
How Local Institutions and Civil Society Shape the Modern State

c.$120.00 ( )

  • Publication planned for: March 2020
  • availability: Not yet published - available from March 2020
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108427784

c.$ 120.00 ( )

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About the Authors
  • This volume presents the first systematic comparative analysis of national traditions of local democracy across the developed world, as well as their origins and evolution. It reveals how inclusive local institutions that integrate national and local governance make democracy work better.  Across most of the developed world, early forms of the national state entrenched the local power of elites. In Anglo-American and Swiss democracies, state formation imposed enduring tensions with local civic governance. In contrast, inclusive, integrative local institutions in Northern Europe enabled close links with central government around common local and national agendas, producing better governance and fuller democracy to the present day.  Through comparative analysis, the authors demonstrate how institutions for local governance and the participation of civil society differ widely among developed democracies, and how local democracy relates to national democracy. The resulting insights fundamentally recast our understanding of how to build and maintain more effective democracies.

    • ·  This book will appeal to readers interested in how to understand and improve governance and democracy ·  It also appeals to readers interested in the historical dynamics of state formation and democratization ·  Explains how institutional change can be shaped from below as well as from above ·  This foundational contribution introduces a new dataset of metrics for systematic comparison of local democracy and its relationship to national democracy
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This book restores local democracy to its rightful place at the center of our understanding of national politics. Through an illuminating, comparative historical analysis, the authors show that systematic variations in local political incorporation have laid down enduring differences in the character of multilevel democracy, with far-reaching consequences for policymaking and the quality of democracy. A must-read!' Christopher Ansell, University of California, Berkeley

    'Local governments are often overlooked in discussions on the formation of modern democracies. This insightful and carefully researched book shows why they should not be: local institutional incorporation in the nation state is historically meaningful for democracies.' Merilee S. Grindle, Harvard University, New Jersey

    'Multilevel Democracy offers an original and fascinating account of institutional endurance and change. The authors' analyses challenges our understanding of state formation, political mobilization, and institutions. Perhaps most importantly, they show the role of local democracy and institutions in developing democratic states, and the significance of 'vertical circuits of power and influence' between institutions at different levels of the polity in shaping and sustaining democracy. If Acemoglu and Robinson, in their seminal work, showed the importance of good institutions for economic growth, Sellers, Lidström and Bae show a similar pattern for the development of democracy and governance. This book should be required readings for all students of democracy, institutions and governance.' Jon Pierre, Göteborgs universitet

    'A breakthrough book in comparative urban analysis! Following in the tradition of Tocqueville, the trio of Sellers, Lidstrom, and Bae provide a multi-national treatment of how state and civil society are interwoven with local-national relations. Resisting the temptation to retreat into vague abstractions about multiscalar politics, the authors use a much-needed comparative approach that grounds their work in examinations of cross-national experiences. During an era in which democratic advancement faces numerous obstacles, Multilevel Democracy offers lessons that can be applied in a time of great challenges. By emphasizing the important role of civil society, this book moves scholarship beyond a limited political-economy conception into a framework that is more accommodating to the vital part that civil society plays in shaping governance in today's world.' Clarence N. Stone, George Washington University

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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: March 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108427784
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • contains: 23 b/w illus. 35 tables
    • availability: Not yet published - available from March 2020
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: Taking Local Institutions Seriously
    2. Multilevel Democracy and the Modern State
    3. Multilevel Democracies: A Cross-Sectional Comparison
    4. Trajectories of Local State Formation
    5. The Local State and the Formation of Civil Society
    6. The Policy State and Local Governance
    7. The Quality of Multilevel Democracy
    Postscript. Constructing Multilevel Democracy.

  • Authors

    Jefferey Sellers, University of Southern California
    Jefferey Sellers is an Associate Professor of Political Science, Public Policy and Spatial Sciences at the University of Southern California. He wrote Governing From Below, published by Cambridge University Press, and has received numerous grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation and other sources.

    Anders Lidström
    Anders Lidström is a Professor of Political Science at Umea University. He serves on the Group of Independent Experts on the European Charter of Local Self-Government, Council of Europe.   

    Yooil Bae, Singapore Management University
    Yooil Bae is a Lecturer and Founding Faculty of Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management at Fulbright University Vietnam. He is the member of the Civil Society in Asia research group and the author of Mega-Events and Mega Ambition published by Palgrave Macmillan. 

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