Innovation in urban political leadership. Reflections on the introduction of a directly-elected mayor in Bristol, UK

Robin Hambleton*, David Sweeting

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

12 Citations (Scopus)


In May 2012, 10 of England's largest cities, outside London, were required to hold referendums giving citizens the option of introducing a directly-elected mayor. Bristol was the only city to vote in favour of the mayoral model. This paper outlines the main themes that feature in current debates about urban leadership. It presents a framework for understanding place-based leadership and, by drawing on a current researchproject on mayoral governance in Bristol, highlights the existence of very different perceptions of how to improve city leadership and democratic accountability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-322
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Money and Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014



  • Directly-elected mayors
  • leadership
  • urban governance

Cite this