【Call for Proposals】Governing mega local jurisdictions
Time:2022-08-25        Views:73


Mega local jurisdictions play critical roles in local, national, regional, and global development. Mega local jurisdictions refer to jurisdictions under the central/federal level whose sizes significantly exceed their counterparts from a national or global standard. Apparent examples include Tokyo whose population is about a third of the country’s total; Sao Paolo, Brazil whose GDP exceeds that of several Latin American countries; and China’s Guangdong Province whose GDP has surpassed that of Italy, Canada, and South Korea. Governments of mega local jurisdictions often exercise leadership in promoting economic development, enhancing quality of life and introducing climate change adaptations. In recent years, academic and practical attention has focused on policy and governance challenges created or aggravated by mega local jurisdictions. Scholarship is increasingly drawing attention to these, such as government expenditures, public service quality, intermunicipal cooperation, participation and democracy, and municipal management consequences (Blom-Hansen et al., 2016; Steiner & Kaiser, 2017; He, 2022; McDonnell, 2020; Blom-Hansen et al., 2014; Krøtel et al., 2017; Baba & Asami, 2020; Tran et al., 2019).

While the rise of large urban centers is not unprecedented, a need exists for scholarship that clarifies and guides our understanding of the changing governance of mega local jurisdictions in current context. Mega local jurisdictions induce more diverse demands and, meanwhile, provide more resources and capacities for innovative governance. They are also developing new and often innovative strategies addressing increased complexity and scale (e.g., sustainability), the need for dynamism and agility, and developing new solutions for enduring concerns (e.g., education, traffic, distrust of government). Mega size also means more political power, bringing fresh challenges to national and provincial relations, and also to neighboring jurisdictions.


Call for papers

Against this background, the journal Local Government Studies will consider hostinga special issue on “Governing mega local jurisdictions”. The special issue seeks to explore frontier governance issues emerging along with the expansion of local jurisdictions, especially provincial/state level jurisdictions and global cities. Papers can be conceptual and/or empirical and local, national, comparative, or global in scope. They should be explicitly committed to challenging or developing the current state of knowledge in the area of mega local jurisdictions. Submissions from established and new academics are both welcome. Submissions covering different world regions are welcome.

The special issue expects studies in, but not limited to, the following subject areas:

  • The effects of mega local jurisdictions on central-local relations

  • Globalization, regionalization, and the governance of mega local jurisdictions

  • Interlocal collaboration and network governance among cities, provinces or states

  • Partnership-based, digitalized, and integrated public services

  • Organizational, functional, and structural development and adjustment of local governments

  • Government-citizen/nonprofit relations

  • Effects of different regimes on local governance adaptation

  • Various policy and management issues in the context of mega local jurisdictions


Guest editor

Prof. Yijia Jing edits this special issue. He is a Chang Jiang Scholar, Dean of the Institute for Global Public Policy, Seaker Chan Chair Professor in Public Management in the School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University. He conducts research on privatization, governance, and collaborative service delivery. He is the founding editor-in-chief of the journal Global Public Policy and Governance and co-editor of International Public Management Journal. He is the founding co-editor of the Palgrave book series, Governing China in the 21st Century. He served as an associate editor of Public Administration Review (2015-2018) and a vice president (Asia) of IRSPM (2013-2019), and is now the co-director of the LSE-Fudan Research Centre for Global Public Policy.


Proposals for papers (500-600 words) should be submitted to Yijia Jing via email (jingyj@fudan.edu.cn) by September 25 2022 (the earlier the better). They should comprise author names, affiliations and positions, the working title of the paper, research questions, methodology, and initially expected findings. Follow-up responses will be emailed to proposal authors by October 10 2022. Authors shall go to the website of Local Government Studies to familiarize themselves with the journal styles.

Authors of accepted proposals will be invited to submit full draft papers by March 1 2023. The drafts will receive comments from the guest editor. A workshop, likely online, may be organized for authors to present their research. Revised papers shall be submitted to the journal for blind peer review by June 1 2023.

Accepted papers will be put online first. The formal compilation of the special issue is expected in 2024.

Both the proposals and the papers shall comply with the format and other requirements of Local Government Studies.


Baba, H., & Asami, Y. (2020). Municipal Population Size and the Benefits of Inter-municipal Cooperation: Panel Data Evidence from Japan. Local Government Studies, 46(3), 371–393.

Blom-Hansen, J., Houlberg, K., Serritzlew, S., & Treisman, D. (2016). Jurisdiction Size and Local Government Policy Expenditure: Assessing the Effect of Municipal Amalgamation. American Political Science Review, 110(4), 812–831.

Blom-Hansen, J., Houlberg, K., & Serritzlew, S. (2014). Size, Democracy, and the Economic Costs of Running the Political System. American Journal of Political Science, 58(4), 790–803.

He, J. (2022). Subnational Territorial Reforms and State Capacity: Evidence from the Developing World. Global Public Policy and Governance, 2(2), 232-251.

Krøtel, S. M. L., Villadsen, A. R., & Hansen, M. B. (2017). What to Do Here? What to Do There? The Effect of Change in Organization Size on Public Management. International Public Management Journal, 20(4), 675–700.

McDonnell, J. (2020). Municipality Size, Political Efficacy and Political Participation: A Systematic Review. Local Government Studies, 46(3), 331–350.

Steiner, R., & Kaiser, C. (2017). Effects of Amalgamations: Evidence from Swiss Municipalities. Public Management Review, 19(2), 232–252.

Tran, C., Kortt, M., & Dollery, B. (2019). Population Size or Population Density? An Empirical Examination of Scale Economies in South Australian Local Government, 2015/16. Local Government Studies, 45(5), 632–653.