Room 2.29, Law & Politics Building
Time Slot: 
Wednesday 28th March 09:00 - 10:30
Panel Chair: 
  • Professor Herwig Reynaert (Ghent University)
Panel Members: 
  • Emeritus Professor Colin Copus (De Montfort University)
  • Professor Koenraad De Ceuninck (Ghent University)
  • Professor Ivan Kopric (University of Zagreb)
  • Awaiting details of this person
  • Dr Jurga Bucaite-Vilke (Vytautas Magnus University)
  • Mr Chris Game (University of Birmingham)

At the local political level we have seen a lot of activity and upheaval in the policy and structural landscape in the last couple of decades, across Europe. Local government is currently going through a period of significant change to which there appears to be no end. Local politics faces many challenges such as: austerity and lack of finance; demand pressures on vital public services such as housing, education, social care and welfare, coping with an ageing population, transport and planning; the development of new partnerships; imbalances in the sharing of resources and responsibilities between local and national governments; decentralisation and devolution; engaging citizens; the use of social media; the changing role of the council and councillors and reforms to local political leadership such as the direct election of mayors.


The papers in the panel will address the range of challenges that are faced by local government, local political leaders, councillors and local communities. It will present the findings of research which addresses the current wave of reforms that are affecting local government, across Europe and explore how local government has responded to, or led, change within its complex environment.