Leadership At The Apex: Politicians and Administrators in Western Local Governments

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9780822957850: Leadership At The Apex: Politicians and Administrators in Western Local Governments

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 roles—Poul Erik Mouritzen’s and James Svara’s comparison of city governments in fourteen countries reveals more interdependence and shared influence than conflict over control.

Mouritzen and Svara 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. Leadership at the Apex illustrates in practical ways how the democratic control of government and professional administration can coexist without undermining the logic or integrity of each other.

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"Adds considerably to our theoretical, empirical, and practical knowledge about the way local political leaders work in practice."-Michael Goldsmith, Salford University

"Gives new and empirical insights into the complex and complementary roles of politicians and bureaucrats operating within different structural and cultural contexts."-Jorgen Gronnegaard Christensen, Aarhus University

"Required reading for all concerned with the challenge of better understanding and managing the complex relationships between politics and administration in democratic governance."-Delmer D. Dunn, University of Georgia

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 group occupies which role-Leadership at the Apex reveals more interdependence and shared influence than conflict over control.

Poul Erik Mouritzen's and James H. Svara's multinational examination brings local government to the forefront, emphasizing the interaction between the mayor and the top administrator known by titles such as chief executive officer (CEO), city manager, secrétaire générale, municipal secretary, kommunaldirektør, or segretari comunali. The countries studied include 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. Leadership at the Apex illustrates in practical ways how the democratic control of government and professional administration can coexist without undermining the logic or integrity of each other.

From the Inside Flap:

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 group occupies which role—Leadership at the Apex reveals more interdependence and shared influence than conflict over control.

Poul Erik Mouritzen’s and James H. Svara’s multinational examination brings local government to the forefront, emphasizing the interaction between the mayor and the top administrator known by titles such as chief executive officer (CEO), city manager, secrétaire générale, municipal secretary, kommunaldirektør, or segretari comunali. The countries studied include 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. Leadership at the Apex illustrates in practical ways how the democratic control of government and professional administration can coexist without undermining the logic or integrity of each other.

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