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Central-local relations in an era of governance : towards a new research agenda.

Laffin, M. (2009) 'Central-local relations in an era of governance : towards a new research agenda.', Local government studies., 35 (1). pp. 21-37.

Abstract

Over recent years central-local relations has been a neglected topic for research in England. Local government research has mostly focused on political and institutional changes at the local level. The aim of this article is to set out a future research agenda on central-local relations which recognises how the spread of new 'governance' arrangements has changed those relations and how insights from the governance literature can shed light on those relations. The article stresses the need (1) to understand local policy processes and outcomes within the context of a wide range of non-local factors and actors, and (2) how those processes and outcomes have changed as governance arrangements have grown in significance. The contemporary politics of the welfare state involve both a greater central reliance on governance arrangements but also a rejection of the formerly highly institutionalised national local government system, dominated by service-based policy communities. Instead, the national-level policy processes now involve more diverse types of actors and, in many cases, cut across service-based boundaries. The key question is the extent to which these changes have modified the policy systems within which local government is embedded and whether they are more pluralistic or open than the old policy communities which once dominated local government policy-making at the centre.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Central-local relations, Local government, Local governance, Policy-making.
Full text:PDF - Accepted Version (361Kb)
Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03003930802574698
Publisher statement:This is an electronic version of an article published in Laffin, M. (2009) 'Central-local relations in an era of governance : towards a new research agenda.', Local government studies., 35 (1). pp. 21-37. Local government studies is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all?content=10.1080/03003930802574698
Record Created:22 May 2009 13:05
Last Modified:03 Nov 2011 16:11

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