Within the field of local government studies there has long been a tendency to conceive and engage with ‘the local’ in a normative way – focusing on its alleged inherently ‘good nature’ without interrogating what the local actually is and means. In this reflective provocation, drawing on the case of England, we contend that failure to address this existential question risks pushing local government studies into a cul-de-sac whereby its fails to benefit from the potential of multidisciplinary dialogues, drawing ever tighter boundaries around the field. In response, we shift attention to how we might harness the plurality of the local, suggesting that the real value of the local, both as a concept and practice, lies in its fuzzy and often problematic nature. We argue that embracing, rather than dismissing, this intrinsic character of the local is essential not just to capture its value, but also to open up new avenues in the way we study and conceive it.

Addressing the elephant in the room: what’s the local in local government studies?

Arianna Giovannini
;
2024

Abstract

Within the field of local government studies there has long been a tendency to conceive and engage with ‘the local’ in a normative way – focusing on its alleged inherently ‘good nature’ without interrogating what the local actually is and means. In this reflective provocation, drawing on the case of England, we contend that failure to address this existential question risks pushing local government studies into a cul-de-sac whereby its fails to benefit from the potential of multidisciplinary dialogues, drawing ever tighter boundaries around the field. In response, we shift attention to how we might harness the plurality of the local, suggesting that the real value of the local, both as a concept and practice, lies in its fuzzy and often problematic nature. We argue that embracing, rather than dismissing, this intrinsic character of the local is essential not just to capture its value, but also to open up new avenues in the way we study and conceive it.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2738151
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