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Party Politics and Local Democracy: A Contradiction in Terms? OR: How I became the Ruler of the Quee

Professor of Local Politics, Prof Colin Copus examines the implications and impact of the involvement of national political parties in local government.

Of the 18,000 councillors in England some 92 per cent are from the Conservative and Labour Party or the Liberal Democrats. The non-partisan councillor – independents, single-issue groups and resident associations – offer an alternative to national parties but only seriously challenge party domination in a few localities. To some, parties in local government are a democratic necessity bringing choice, identifiable policy platforms and enhanced accountability; to others, they are an undemocratic monolith, motivated by party interest and advancement, dedicated to maintaining loyalty and discipline at all costs and responsible for nationalising local government. But, which assessment is correct? In this lecture Professor Colin Copus examines the implications and impact of the involvement of national political parties in local government.

Professor Copus was awarded his PhD from Queen Mary and Westfield and has an MA and a local government post-graduate professional qualification. He joined De Montfort University, from Birmingham University’s Institute of Local Government Studies, in March 2009. He began his academic career at the West London Institute of Higher Education, where he had undertaken part-time study and then moved to an academic post at Wolverhampton University. His research interests are local party politics, local democracy and the role of the councillor; he has published widely in these areas with recent books exploring local politics and directly elected mayors.

Please book online or contact our Events Office on (0116) 257 7452 or eventsoffice@dmu.ac.uk


Professor Colin Copus | talks


Date and Time:

7 April 2011 at 6:00 pm


1 hour



Hugh Aston Building
De Montfort University
The Newarke

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Organised by:

Professorial Lecture Series
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Available from:

To book a place or for more information please email Daniel Jones at djones@dmu.ac.uk or telephone 0116 257 7452

Additional Information:

Places must be booked in advance as there are limited places. There will be a free drinks reception afterwards for guests to be able to further discuss the event.

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