Handbook on City and Regional Leadership
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Handbook on City and Regional Leadership

Edited by Markku Sotarauta and Andrew Beer

In this timely Handbook, people emerge at the centre of city and regional development debates from the perspective of leadership. It explores individuals and communities, not only as units that underpin aggregate measures or elements within systems, but as deliberative actors with ambitions, desires, strategies and objectives.
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Chapter 4: Place leadership, policy-making and politics

Alessandro Sancino, Leslie Budd and Michela Pagani


Place leadership is a concept which is emerging more prominently in several academic disciplines but especially for use in a critically constructive way in the fields of regional and urban studies, public governance, organisation and leadership studies and politics and international relations. This chapter aims to draw connections between place leadership on one side and the concepts of politics and policy-making on the other. We believe that establishing a connection between these concepts is important for shedding light on the public side of place leadership, with its related implications –in terms of both opportunities and constraints - for a broader theorisation on place leadership. The chapter proposes three conceptual recommendations. Firstly, the study of place leadership should better acknowledge the complexity of an increasingly distributed and interconnected role for leaders in leadership and the powerful role of media and social networks in framing scenarios and possibilities for place leadership. Secondly, it seems crucial to re-centre the political and socio-cultural dimensions embedded in any arena for place leadership rather than just considering its economic dimension. Thirdly, greater attention should be paid to considering the importance of civil society and citizen participation.

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