Review: Local Government in England: Centralisation, Autonomy and Control by Colin Corpus, Mark Roberts, Rachel Wall

Jonathan Carr-West

Abstract


Local Government in England: Centralisation, Autonomy and Control is a serious book and an important contribution to the scholarship around local government. It opens however, with a pleasingly comic tableau as academics from England, Portugal and Poland bicker amiably at a conference and on Twitter about whose country is really the most centralised. The rest of the book is devoted to showing why the English academics were right, why it matters and what should be done about it.

The main thrust of the text is an analysis of the impact of the dominant policy narratives around centralism and localism. The argument that Copus, Wall and Roberts put forward could be boiled down to the assertion that the problem with local government in England is that it is neither local nor government. But to make this case they first helpfully unpack several sets of concepts that are all too often elided together.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5130/cjlg.v0i20.6021

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