Bourgeois Theories of Local Government

“This paper offers an historical analysis of the principles of local government organization that have been accepted in Britain and the United States. The central thesis is that these principles express an ‘economist’ conception of politics and the state. Local governments have been variously conceived—as business corporations, consumers’ cooperatives, and institutions of the state—but in each case they have been assigned a restricted, essentially instrumental purpose. This purpose is connected to economic welfare, which, it is supposed, requires centralization of government. Thus the prevalent economist conceptions of local government condemn the local polity to a tenuous existence.”

Published in Political Studies | W. Magnusson | 1986,,