Different concepts of local democracy imply different tasks, functions and reform strategies for local political leadership. This article draws a map of local democracy that entails four non-exclusive components: representative democracy, user democracy, network democracy and participatory democracy. After reflecting on the nature of local democracy in governance arid the functions of political leadership generally, the article considers in turn the bases of constructing the common good within each form of democracy. Special attention is given to the role of political leadership within these forms. © 2006 Political Studies Association.