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Title: Regrets? He's Had a Few: The implications of Gerry Stoker's revisionism for Australian local government reform
Contributor(s): Grant, Bligh (author); Dollery, Brian E (author)
Publication Date: 2011
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Abstract: It is difficult to overstate the extent to which English local government has been the subject of vigorous policy debate and reform processes under successive Conservative, New Labour and now Coalition governments. The sector has been the subject of three White Papers and four new local government acts since 1998 (Grant and Dollery, 2011c). Arguably, these reforms have been all the more heavily contested due to the way that English political theory - in particular, political pluralism stretching from the work of J. S. Mill through to Harold Laski (1938) and later Paul Hirst (1997) - has defended sub-national government as a legitimate realm of politics set against the centralising tendencies of national governments (see, for example, Chandler, 2008). In the most recent of these legislative reform processes, the Localism Bill (2010) contains a raft of measures to devolve specific elements of authority to communities (see, for example, HM Government, 2010). From an Australian perspective, what is perhaps most remarkable about these reforms is the degree of policy continuity that now exists between the two major political parties in England with respect to the general direction of reform to local government. Whereas previously Labour firmly sided with the local government sector against successive Conservative administrations, the devolution of authority, together with a heightened role for leadership, now enjoy relatively uniform bipartisan support in Britain. Conversely, in the Australian context, many policy debates concerning local government reform have historically fallen into what Brown (2008: 442) has described as 'set-piece party battles'. Many elements of this broad, bipartisan approach to local government reform in England have been reflected in the evolving work of Gerry Stoker.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Name: Australian Political Studies Association (ASPA) Annual Conference: Crisis, Uncertainty and Democracy, Canberra, Australia, 26th - 28th September, 2011
Conference Details: Australian Political Studies Association (ASPA) Annual Conference: Crisis, Uncertainty and Democracy, Canberra, Australia, 26th - 28th September, 2011
Source of Publication: Australian Political Science Association Conference 2011 Papers
Publisher: Australian National University
Place of Publication: Online
Field of Research (FOR): 160603 Comparative Government and Politics
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: E1 Refereed Scholarly Conference Publication
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