Place leadership, policy making and politics

Sancino, Alessandro; Budd, Leslie and Pagani, Michela (2021). Place leadership, policy making and politics. In: Sotarautu, Markku and Beer, Andrew eds. Handbook on City and Regional Leadership. Research Books in Urban Studie. London: Edawrd Elgar, pp. 57–70.



Place leadership is a concept which is emerging more prominently in several academic disciplines but especially four 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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