Local Elites, Political Capital and Democratic Development is another solid step forward in a significant, decentralized research program, Democracy and Local Governance (DLG), which was initiated in the summer of 1991 -- just th after one of the final great political transformations ... of the 20 Century. Other research reports (B. Jacob, et al. , Democracy and Local Governance: Nine - pirical Studies, Institute of Political Science, University of Bern, 1999) have extended the scope of the Democracy and Local Governance Research program to other countries. This book is a point of departure not only from those research reports but also from almost all other research on local democracy in that it is based on observations at three points in time and introduces the concept of - litical capital as an explanatory variable. It also demonstrates the power of g- eral theoretical frameworks in advancing knowledge by focusing additional empirical research in theoretically productive ways. The structure of the research design in this report is quintessentially c- parative: it is cross-system (seven countries); cross-time (at least three points in time for five countries); and cross-levels, i. e. local-national - it is, in fact, global. This not only enables the isolation of differences among countries but also the identification of sequential dynamics of change.
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