An influential literature in urban political and public management debates whether political leadership, in particular the form of council government in the United States, can improve policy and other outcomes by providing coordination, control, and facilitation. The article tests whether stronger political leadership affects citizen satisfaction through the direct connection of leaders to citizens even when the possible effect of policy performance is controlled for. In addition, the article investigates whether majority and coalition governments mediate the impact of leadership. The data are drawn from English local authorities following a reform in 2000 that created separate executive bodies in councils and gave powers to political leaders. The analysis uses regression models on survey data from the English principal local authorities. The article concludes that leader powers predict citizen satisfaction but that single-party majority government does not. The article adds to the literature on the impact of the form of council government by setting out the mechanisms whereby leadership translates to positive citizen outcomes.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2011|