Directly-elected mayors and the austerity agenda: lessons from the German experience

Peter Eckersley*, Peter Timm-Arnold

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper identifies the key factors that have affected the ability of elected mayors in some German cities to introduce austerity measures in response to serious financial problems. Drawing on a detailed study of six municipalities in North Rhine-Westphalia, it highlights how the mayor's managerial and/or legal experience, as well as the party-political make-up of the council, played a vital role in determining the success of savings initiatives. Such findings have important implications for countries such as England, where some have argued for the introduction of elected mayors in order to improve decision-making capacity within local government.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-354
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Money and Management
Issue number5
Early online date15 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Austerity
  • elected mayors
  • Germany
  • local government
  • organizational capacity

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