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September 2002
352 pages  

6 1/8 x 9 1/4
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Leadership at the Apex
Politicians and Administrators in Western Local Governments
Mouritzen, Poul, Svara, James
Leadership at the Apex offers a revision of the general view concerning the boundaries of public administration. It reveals that there is more interdependence and shared influence between elected officials and appointed executives than previously realized.

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Poul Erik Mouritzen, professor of political science at the University of Southern Denmark at Odense, is the author of Managing Cities in Austerity: Urban Fiscal Stress in Ten Western Countries.
James H. Svara, professor of political science and public administration at North Carolina State University, is the author of Official Leadership in the City.
"Adds considerably to our theoretical, empirical, and practical knowledge about the way local political leaders work in practice."—Michael Goldsmith, Salford University

"Gives new and empirical insights into the complex and complementary roles of politicians and bureaucrats operating within different structural and cultural contexts."—Jørgen Grønnegaard Christensen, Aarhus University

"Required reading for all concerned with the challenge of better understanding and managing the complex relationships between politics and administration in democratic governance."—Delmer D. Dunn, University of Georgia

"Offers a rare cross-national study of top local officials—who they are, what they do, how they work together to govern communities in Western Europe, the United States, and Australia."—Richard Stillman, University of Colorado

“Carefully argued and fascinating.”--Thomas D. Zwefel, Political Studies Review, September, 2003

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Political Science/Policy, Theory, Law

Although the relationship between elected officials and appointed executives has often been viewed as a struggle between master and servant—with disagreements as to which individuals occupy which roles—Poul Erik Mouritzen’s and James Svara’s comparison of city governments in fourteen countries reveals more interdependence and shared influence than conflict over control. Mouritzen and Svara bring local government to the forefront, emphasizing the sophisticated level of city management in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Their findings lead to a revision of the general view concerning the boundaries of public administration. Leadership at the Apex illustrates in practical ways how the democratic control of government and professional administration can coexist without undermining the logic or integrity of each other.


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