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Sonia Bussu and Maria Tullia Galanti

In 2014, Italian local government was affected by two key events: the passage of the Delrio law, which drastically reforms areabased government (i.e., provinces, municipal unions, and metropolitan cities) in the expectation that future constitutional reform will eliminate provinces entirely, and the rationalization program drawn up by Carlo Cottarelli, the special commissioner for the review of expenditure, which has profoundly affected the role of local authorities in owning and operating public utilities companies. This chapter traces the processes that led to these two reforms and, in doing so, elucidates the factors that motivated each reform.

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Fabiola Lizama-Pérez, María de los Ángeles Piñar-Álvarez, Alejandro Ortega-Argueta, María Azahara Mesa-Jurado, María del Carmen Sandoval-Caraveo and Ady Patricia Carrera-Hernández

English abstract: This article assesses the implementation and performance of Local Agenda 21 (LA21) in Mexico over a decade (2004–2013). Official records of municipal evaluations from all 31 Mexican states were analyzed, comprising 39 indicators of four dimensions of sustainable development: institutional, economic, social and environmental. A positive evolution of the implementation of LA21 was observed, with the economic and social dimensions presenting the best and worst performances, respectively. In general, the local governments of northern Mexico performed better than their southern counterparts. The voluntary nature of LA21 implementation is highlighted, yet necessitating a strengthening of municipal capacities in long-term planning, inter-administration continuity, efficacy evaluation, and integration of all sectors into a more coherent municipal agenda.

Spanish abstract: Este estudio analiza la implementación y desempeño de la Agenda Local 21 (AL21) en México en un periodo de una década (2004–2013). Se analizaron registros oficiales de evaluaciones municipales de los 31 estados de la república, que comprenden 39 indicadores de cuatro dimensiones del desarrollo sustentable: institucional, económico, social y ambiental. Se observó una evolución positiva en la implementación de la AL21, con las dimensiones económica y social mostrando el mejor y peor desempeños, respectivamente. En general, los gobiernos locales del norte de México tuvieron mejores desempeños que sus contrapartes del sur. Se destaca la naturaleza voluntaria de la implementación de la AL21, que todavía necesita un fortalecimiento de las capacidades municipales en la planificación de largo plazo, en la continuidad inter-administrativa, la evaluación de eficacia y la integración de todos los sectores en una agenda municipal más coherente.

French abstract: Cette étude analyse la mise en oeuvre et les performances de l’Agenda 21 local (AL21) au Mexique sur une période de dix ans (2004-2013). Les archives officielles des évaluations municipales des trente-et-un états de la République ont été analysées. Elles comprennent trente-neuf indicateurs de quatre dimensions du développement durable: institutionnel, économique, social et environnemental. Une évolution positive a été observée dans la mise en oeuvre du LA21, les dimensions économique et sociale affichant respectivement les meilleures et les plus basses performances. En général, les administrations locales du nord du Mexique ont obtenu de meilleurs résultats que leurs homologues du sud. On souligne la nature volontaire de la mise en oeuvre de la LA21, qui nécessite toutefois encore un renforcement des capacités municipales dans la planification à long terme, dans la continuité inter-administrative, l’évaluation de l’efficacité et l’intégration de tous les secteurs dans un agenda municipal plus cohérent.

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Dietrich Thränhardt

In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, millions of Germans emigrated

to the New World. Today, however, immigration to Germany

is an integral aspect of everyday life in the country. The consequences

of immigration are far-reaching, ranging from the wealth of

culinary options offered by Italian, Greek, or Chinese restaurants, to

the social costs of employing thousands of foreign workers in Germany’s

construction sector. In the Ruhr River area, Germany’s

largest industrial melting pot, Turkish names are now as common as

Polish names—the latter representing an immigrant group that settled

in the area some 100 years ago.

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Dugald Monro

This article argues that democracy requires citizens to have confidence that their interests and concerns will be seriously considered by their elected representatives. Drawing on a case study of one municipality, the ability of citizens in small communities to have local issues considered by Council was examined. The nature of the municipality, the Council structure, and the ethos that required Councilors to take a “corporate” view of representation—representing the municipality as a whole rather than any particular community—were all factors limiting citizens' confidence that their concerns would be taken seriously by Council. This shortcoming in democracy at the local level is only partially offset by the municipality's Community Consultative Bodies. These aim to allow local communities to bring their issues before Council, however they operate unevenly and in parts of this municipality and in many other municipalities do not exist at all.

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Ben Berkowitz and Jean-Paul Gagnon

SeeClickFix began in 2009 when founder and present CEO Ben Berkowitz spotted a piece of graffiti in his New Haven, Connecticut, neighborhood. After calling numerous departments at city hall in a bid to have the graffiti removed, Berkowitz felt no closer to fixing the problem. Confused and frustrated, his emotions resonated with what many citizens in real-existing democracies feel today (Manning 2015): we see problems in public and want to fix them but can’t. This all too habitual inability for “common people” to fix problems they have to live with on a day-to-day basis is a prelude to the irascible citizen (White 2012), which, according to certain scholars (e.g., Dean 1960; Lee 2009), is itself a prelude to political apathy and a citizen’s alienation from specific political institutions.

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V. A. Skubnevskii and lu. M. Goncharov

This article traces developments in Siberian trade and manufacturing in the period between the emancipation of the serfs and the early 1900s. Particular emphasis is placed on the evolving nature and role of the guild merchants. Attention is devoted to social change among the merchants, including education and their significance in local government and philanthropy.

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Jewish Museums

From Jewish Icons to Jewish Narratives

David Clark

The first Jewish museums were established in the late nineteenth century. By then, museums were coming into vogue all over Europe, with encouragement from central and local government. Furthermore, while private collections of objects of art had existed for centuries, these collections were now entering the public domain. And, for the first time, this trend also applied to the collection of Jewish ritual objects. As Cohen (1998) notes, art patronage in the form of donations to public museums was a way of displaying patriotism while at the same time seeking legitimacy in society.

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Guido Legnante

On 25–26 May 2003, voters in Valle d’Aosta, 12 provinces (including

Rome), and 93 of the 600 local governments selected with a two-ballot

system (including 9 of the 103 provincial capitals) were called to

the polls. A fortnight later, regional elections were held in Friuli-

Venezia Giulia and 3 other provincial capitals. On 26 October, elections

were held in the autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano.

The elections in the spring involved more than 12 million voters and

the following autumn, another 800,000 in Trentino-Alto Adige.

Although the number of voters was not insignificant, the 2003 elections

were nonetheless partial. The regions and autonomous provinces

called to the polls were exclusively in the North, while the local

and provincial polls were over-representative of the South (especially

Sicily) and under-representative of the “Red” areas of the country.

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Social Innovation, Local Governance and Social Quality

The Case of Intersectoral Collaboration in Hangzhou City

Yong Li, Ying Sun and Ka Lin

In contemporary European policy discussion, “innovation“ is a term popularly used for finding responses to the pressure of global competition. In various forms of innovation, the accent is mainly given to technical and business innovation but less to social innovation. This article studies the issue of social innovation with reference to the local practice in Hangzhou city, which aims to strengthen the life quality of citizens in this city. These practices develop various forms of inter-sectoral collaboration, resulting in numerous "common denominator subject" (CDS) groups that are promoted by the local government. These practices follow the principles of cooperation and partnership, and thus develop a corporatist mechanism for urban development. Through discussion of these practices this article explores the nature and the features of these CDS groups, and evaluates its meaning for social innovation, local administration, life quality and social quality.

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Les rapports ambigus entre politiques et citoyens

le cas du réaménagement du Quartier des Halles à Paris

Pierre Diméglio and Jodelle Zetlaoui-Léger

While Mayor Bertrand Delanoë had omitted the renovation of Les Halles in hisplans for the city in his 2001 inaugural address, in 2002, at the urging of theRATP and Espace Expansion, he decided to create a working group to undertakethis project during his tenure. Having made citizen participation a newgoal for local government, he also announced that the project would beundertaken with Parisians, especially local associations. The first part of thisarticle emphasizes the different postures that elected politicians, engineers,and experts have adopted over the course of forty years vis-à-vis the questionof citizen participation in urban planning. The second part explores the decision-making process for the Les Halles renovation over the last four years; itconsiders the issues and difficulties linked to the implementation of participatoryplans incorporating residents--whether they are members of localgroups or not--in complex urban planning projects.