2014: Gerry Stoker

The urban lecturer for 2014 was Gerry Stoker. He is Professor of Politics and Governance and Director of the Centre for Citizenship, Globalization and Governance (C2G2) at the University of Southampton, UK. He is also Professor of Politics at the University of Canberra, Australia.

See the lecture Challenging Democratic Myopia: Centralized decision-making and citizen participation from May 13th 2014 in the University Hall.

About Gerry Stoker

His research over the last 30 years mainly relates to urban politics, governance in complex settings, political disenchantment in Western democracies and strategies for encouraging civic behaviour among citizens.

The lecture put the case that there are high prospects for long term policy based on an empowered decentralised politics. Contrary to the view that centralised government is needed to combat the NIMBYISM inherent to local decision-making and is best placed to plan for the future, Stoker argued that decentralised polity and politics and long-term thinking are more likely to be effective partners. National politics and politicians are increasingly captured by a focus on a 24 hour news-cycle so an engaged local politics now offers by far the best hope for the long term policy required over many economic, social and environmental issues.

Selected works

  • ·Why politics matters: Making democracy work (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006)
  • ·Transforming local governance: From Thatcherism to New Labour (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003)
  • ·The new politics of British local governance (Palgrave Macmillan, 2000)