• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The SAGE Handbook of Political Science presents a major retrospective and prospective overview of the discipline. Comprising three volumes of contributions from expert authors from around the world, the handbook aims to frame, assess and synthesize research in the field, helping to define and identify its current and future developments. It does so from a truly global and cross-area perspective. Chapters cover a broad range of aspects, from providing a general introduction to exploring important subfields within the discipline. Each chapter is designed to provide a state-of-the-art and comprehensive overview of the topic by incorporating cross-cutting global, interdisciplinary, and, where this applies, gender perspectives. The Handbook is arranged over seven core thematic sections: Part 1: Political Theory; Part 2: Methods; Part 3: Political Sociology; Part ...

Local Politics
Local politics
Hellmut Wollmann
Scope and Focus
Crucial Institutional Conditions of Local Politics

In taking up the issue of local politics, the article shall focus on and single out three institutional dimensions upon which the viability and vitality of local politics crucially hinge.

First, decentralization: the position of local government in a country's multi-level governmental system essentially depends on whether, and to what degree, relevant powers, competencies and responsibilities are transferred (‘decentralized') from the upper levels to the lower (local government) levels.

Second, local territoriality: the size (‘scale') of the local territory essentially influences the democratic and operational base and potential of local politics.

Third, democratization: the democratic quality of local politics essentially hinges on the choice of institutions, rules and procedures of representative ...

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