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Despite decades of talk about globalization democracy still depends on local self-government. In Local Self-Government and the Right to the City Warren Magnusson argues that it is the principle behind claims to personal autonomy community control and national self-determination and holds the promise of more peaceful politics. Unfortunately state-centred thinking has obscured understanding of what local self-government can mean and hindered efforts to make good on what activists have called the right to the city. In this collection of essays Magnusson reects on his own efforts to make sense of what local self-government can actually mean using the old ideal of the town meeting as a touchstone. Why cannot communities govern them- selves Why fear direct democracy As he suggests putting more trust in the proliferating practices of government and self-government will actually make cities work better and enable us to see how to localize democracy appropri- ately. He shows that doing so will require citizens and governments to come to terms with the multiplicity indeterminacy and uncertainty implicit in politics and steer clear of sovereign solutions. The culmination of a lifes work by Canadas leading political theorist in the eld Local Self-Government and the Right to the City ranges across topics such as local government social movements constitutional law urban politi- cal economy and democratic theory. Warren Magnusson is professor of political science at the University of Victoria. 1 0 M Q U P F A L L 2 0 1 5 S P E C I F I C AT I O N S McGill-Queens Studies in Urban Governance August 2015 978-0-7735-4565-6 34.95A CDN 34.95A US 23.99 paper 978-0-7735-4564-9 100.00S CDN 100.00S US 69.00 cloth 6 x 9 360pp Ebook available Local Self-Government and the Right to the City warren magnusson A timely exploration of the untapped potential for local democracy. P O L I T I C A L S T U D I E S U R B A N S T U D I E S a n n o u n c i n g a n e w s e r i e s McGill-Queens Studies in Urban Governance series editors martin horak and kristin good In recent years there has been an explosion of interest in local politics and the governance of cities both in Canada and around the world. Globally the city has become a consequential site where instances of social conict and of cooperation play out. Urban centres are increasingly understood as vital engines of innovation and prosperity and a growing body of interdisciplinary research on urban issues suggests that high-performing cities have become crucial to the success of nations even in the global era. Yet at the same time local and regional governments continue to struggle for political recognition and for the policy resources needed to manage cities to effectively govern and to achieve sustainable growth. The purpose of the McGill-Queens Studies in Urban Gover- nance series is to highlight the growing importance of municipal issues local governance and the need for policy reform in urban spaces. The series aims to answer the question why do cities matter while exploring relationships between levels of govern- ment and examining the changing dynamics of metropolitan and community development. By taking a four-pronged approach to the study of urban gover- nance the series encourages debate and discussion of 1 actors institutions and how cities are governed 2 policy issues and policy reform 3 the city as case study and 4 urban politics and policy through a comparative framework. With a strong focus on governance policy and the role of the city this series welcomes manuscripts from a broad range of disci- plines and viewpoints.