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Title: The politics of transnational municipalism for sustainable development in the European Union. An urban analysis
Authors: Mocca, Elisabetta
Advisors: Fisher, J
Uberoi, V
Keywords: Transnational municipal networks;Local government;European union;Urban politics
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: In the last thirty years, European local authorities have played a pro-active role in the realm of sustainable development, taking part in several European initiatives and projects and setting up municipal networks. The latter, which connect cities scattered across Member States, may focus on specific environmental issues, such as sustainable mobility or energy, or include sustainable development in a wide range of policy priorities. These socio-ecological urban networks (hereafter SEUNs) have attracted growing academic attention. However, the bulk of the literature is located within Geography and Urban Studies, and it is more focused on the structure of the networks, the process of decision-making, and the policy outcomes than on the drivers of cities’ membership of SEUNs. Within this debate, the contribution of Political Science has been scant, and the political and economic drivers of cities’ engagement in European socio-ecological municipal networks have been overlooked. Understanding why local governments decide to participate in these networks is important for two main reasons: firstly, it contributes to shedding light on how contemporary local political elites govern cities within the European context; secondly, it allows us to understand why European cooperation for sustainable development has become a dominant discourse in urban politics. Conversely, this thesis adopts an urban approach to isolate the urban-level economic, political and institutional factors that impact on local authorities’ participations in European socio-ecological urban networks. Using a nested research design that combines a quantitative and qualitative analysis, the thesis seeks to shed light on the factors and motivations underlying the choice of cities to participate in European networks for sustainability. The results show that cities’ European commitment to sustainable development is part of a broad strategy to achieve urban regeneration. Therefore, participation in SEUNs is not necessarily motivated by environmental preoccupations but is functional to achieve economic and political objectives.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Law
Dept of Politics, History and Law Theses

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