The chapter provides an overview of the recent developments on sub-national representative democracy and considers the role played by new political actors. A review of the literature on political cleavages introduces populism and mobilization around ‘new politics’ issues, which have led to a shift in the traditional patterns of political competition. A reflection on the presence of ‘non-partisan’ actors in the local (and regional) electoral arena also suggests that the rise of ‘civic’ or ‘local’ lists and independent candidates poses new challenges to traditional ‘statewide’ parties. Finally, since the changes in the electoral dimension have affected the composition of local and regional governments, their implications for sub-national policy-making processes and the quality of democracy are addressed. The conclusion highlights the importance of exploring in more detail the ‘multi-level’ nature of contemporary populism by considering how it might be linked not only to ‘ethno-regionalism’ but also to ‘state-wide’ nationalism.
|Title of host publication
|A Research Agenda for Regional and Local Government
|Mark Callanan, John Loughlin
|978 1 83910 663 7
|Published - 2021