Local government plays a critical role in the lives of all citizens, from remote towns to capital cities. As the political legitimacy and importance of municipalities grow, however, it becomes increasingly difficult to strike a balance between local and higher levels of government. The contributors to Local Government in a Global World provide insights into key themes impacting local governance in two federations with much in common historically, culturally, and politically: Australia and Canada. These essays examine changes in the Australian and Canadian systems through four thematic lenses: citizen participation in government systems, the restructuring and reform of local governments, the use of performance measures and management systems in the administration of local governments, and the relations of local governments within higher levels of governments. Unique in its thematic selection and in its compare-and-contrast structure, Local Government in a Global World provides a valuable reference for those seeking to understand how effective local government is structured and managed.
Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly is an associate professor and co-director of the Local Government Institute at the University of Victoria. John F. Martin is a professor and director of the Centre for Sustainable Regional Communities at LaTrobe University.