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Croatian and comparative public administration : a journal for theory and practice of public administration, Vol.16 No.3 October 2016.

Original scientific paper

Urban Governance and Institutions in the Developed and Developing Worlds: Toward a Comparative Historical Perspective

Jefferey M. Jefferey M. Sellers

Fulltext: english, pdf (159 KB) pages 459-478 downloads: 70* cite
Jefferey M. Sellers, J.M. (2016). Urban Governance and Institutions in the Developed and Developing Worlds: Toward a Comparative Historical Perspective. Hrvatska i komparativna javna uprava : časopis za teoriju i praksu javne uprave, 16(3), 459-478. Retrieved from

Institutions and their historical dynamics are indispensable to understanding how the contemporary urban politics of developing world democracies differs from the present day urban politics of the developed world. The paper sketches the outline of a comparative historical account of how the local government institutions that have become familiar among the cities of developed democracies have emerged. Then, it shows how examination of institutional arrangements in the cities of contemporary developing democracies from the same broadly comparative perspective illuminates important differences between urban politics there from contemporary processes in the cities of developed countries. These reflections point to the need to bring a deeper historical understanding to comparisons
of urban governance and politics across the divide between developed
country democracies and the new democracies of the developing world. Across the developed and developing worlds, the variations in institutions and state-society relations are as important as any global commonalities. In developing and transitional democracies, efforts at local state building confront conflicts that their counterparts in earlier democratizing countries did not. These conflicts stem partly from trajectories of institutional development that have left local government capacities weak, but also from the demands of urban movements that have helped bring about democratization, and arisen in its wake. The accumulating agendas of the policy state at the local level have imposed greater expectations for local governance that have in turn helped spark civic and political action, including protest. The resulting tensions have helped make local governance infrastructures as central to the politics of contemporary developing countries as they have long been to their counterparts in the developed world.

local government; local government institutions; local governance

Hrčak ID: 168143


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