Advocating within and outside the shadow of hierarchy: local government responses to Melbourne’s outer suburban deficits

“Where urban and regional development processes create deficits in infrastructure, services or employment, governments are expected to respond. One specific dimension is local government advocacy within a multi-tiered state. Although democratically proximate to residents, local government represents a creature of higher government tiers and is subject to the centralist ‘shadow of hierarchy’. To interpret whether advocacy is stunted by hierarchical influences, a distinction is drawn between passive, active and aggressive advocacy.

Using interviews conducted with outer Melbourne’s growth area councils, the paper evidences the multidimensional and evolving nature of local and regional advocacy within the shadow. Illustrative of intra-sector variation, some peripheral councils have stepped beyond the metaphoric shadows and adopted politically confrontational or aggressive advocacy. Overarching conceptual framings must be appreciative of spatial and temporal variation in local government advocacy, and the local embeddedness of all government tiers through representative structures.”

Published in Local Government Studies | Steven R. Henderson | 2018,,