City Politics, Canada
City Politics, Canada is an introduction to the basic politics and core policies of today’s city halls. While the book surveys classic discussions and accurately describes municipal institutions in Canada, it also explains why particular policies assume the specific shape they do. James Lightbody draws on over thirty years experience researching and participating in city politics to argue that transparent accountability from local public officials, related to specific policies and the general condition of the community, is an important and desired end for democratic city government. Arguments for change within city politics are insufficient if the result is that everyone has a say but no one is accountable. In following this theme throughout the book, Lightbody examines the various facets of metropolitan politics in a lively and engaging manner, and explains why city politics are important to all Canadians. Provincial agenda setting is viewed through the lens of the urban political landscape, as are the reasons behind the Toronto Megacity (1996) and Montreal's consolidation. Finally, the book expands its discussion to explore the global reach of the urban phenomenon and the impact of world practices on Canada's metropolitan cities. The ultimate hope for this book is that readers, as citizens, will be better able to understand the basic politics and core policies of today's city halls—and will be better equipped to participate effectively in the processes by which those policies are made.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 576 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
City Politics, Canada will both irritate and please, but it should be read--it raises all the important questions about urban governance in Canada. It integrates an understanding of the impact of the world context on Canadian cities with the detailing of the ways in which provincial governments guide and control municipalities. James Lightbody has always been an ardent promoter of city-region amalgamations and municipal political parties and these two themes are central to City Politics, Canada. Both positions are argued in great detail and the discussion links these issues to the big political questions--democracy, participation, innovation. The scope is broad and the detail is there.
Caroline Andrew, Centre on Governance, University of Ottawa
City Politics, Canada is an excellent read. It is comprehensive--from historical reform efforts, through public policy making in our cities, to urban elections, political parties and interest groups. It identifies the impact of urban culture and social movements. It comments on the current debates about local intergovernmental relations and new public management. It has opinions on regional/metropolitan governance for the twenty-first century. And it asks the reader to think about urban theory and the internationalization of cities. It does all this with some attitude--one which engages and provokes rethinking much of what we think we know about modern political life in Canada.
Patrick J. Smith, Simon Fraser University
James Lightbody is Professor of Political Science at the University of Alberta. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Queen's University and has published in various scholarly journals on the topic of city politics. He is the editor of Canadian Metropolitics: Governing Our Cities (Copp, Clark, 1995).
Table of contents
List of Abbreviations
Part I: An Introduction to Canadian Metropolitan Politics
Chapter 1: The study of urban politics
Chapter 2: The policy-making system of the Canadian city
Chapter 3: Urban political culture and the limits to policy choice
Chapter 4: The development of locally accountable organizations
Part II: The Politics of City Governing
Chapter 5: Elections and voters
Chapter 6: Political parties and theories of local non-partisanship
Chapter 7: Interests and lobbying at City Hall
Chapter 8: Social movements, leadership, and the policy agenda
Part III: Intergovernmental Issues and Metropolitan Governing
Chapter 9: Relations among governments
Chapter 10: Standing issues in regional governing
Chapter 11: Theoretical questions about metropolitan institutions
Chapter 12: Organizing city governments in the metropolis
Chapter 13: The politics of local government reform
Part IV: Canadian Metropolitan Centres in a World Context
Chapter 14: The impact of world practices on Canadian metropolitan cities
Index of Names
Index of Subjects
Subjects and Courses