D. Hopkin and H. Atkinson (editors)
Local Economy, vol. 26, 2011, p. 625-725
Localism and its close relative, the 'Big Society' have become a central part of the lexicon of the coalition government since it came to power in May 2010. Coalition government rhetoric puts great stress on the need to decentralise power to local government and local communities (localism), which, in turn, will help build the 'Big Society' of engaged local communities and individuals. This special issue brings together a range of contributions looking at localism from a number of perspectives, including: 1) the pitfalls of paying local service providers by results; 2) tensions in central-local government relations arising from spending cuts; 3) difficulties for government of reconciling the forces of devolution and localism with political accountability and public expectations; 4) the drive towards community ownership of local facilities; and 5) radical changes to the institutions of local economic development in England.