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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Governing Ourselves?

The Politics of Canadian Communities

Given the pressures of integration and assimilation, how are people within communities able to make decisions about their own environment, whether individually or collectively? Governing Ourselves? explores issues of influence and power within local institutions and decision-making processes using numerous illustrations from municipalities across Canada. It shows how communities large and small, from Toronto to Iqaluit, have distinctive political cultures and therefore respond differently to changing global and domestic environments. Case studies illuminate historical and contemporary challenges to local governance. This book covers topics including government structures and institutions and intergovernmental relations and reaches more broadly into geography, urban planning, environmental studies, public administration, and sociology.

352 pages

Table of Contents

Tables, Figures, and Boxes




Part 1: Local Democracy, a Contested Notion

1 Local Self-Government: Perspectives on Democracy

2 Local Democracy and Self-Government: The Historical Legacy

3 Avenues of Participation in Local Governance

Part 2: Shifting Responsibilities: Intergovernmental Relations

4 The Evolution of Provincial-Local Relations and Municipal Government

5 Municipal Restructuring

6 Contemporary Intergovernmental Relations

Part 3: The Politics of Space, Place, and Ecosystems

7 Core and Peripheries to Networked Societies

8 The Politics of Urban Planning

9 Environmental Challenges: Redefining the Public Interest

Part 4: The Business of Local Administration and Policy

10 Local Public Administration

11 Business, Management, and the Municipal Corporation

Part 5: Surfing into the Twenty-First Century: Local Political Communications

12 Local Channels of Information


Selected Bibliography

Photography Credits


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