Institutions Count but Resources Decide
American mayors are often cited as examples of policy leadership and problem-solving energy,1 and some European scholars have looked at the American mayor as a model of how to revitalise local politics. It is a highly visible office and one that is often associated with innovation. Yet caution should surround any effort to transplant a practice from one place to another. Reforms often fail to yield intended results. It is well to remember that leadership is rarely a matter of relying on the formal features of the office. The experience of mayors in the United States shows that leadership rests on informal arrangements, not simply on the formal powers of those who hold local executive offices.
KeywordsBusiness Leader City Government City Manager Black Middle Class Executive Authority
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