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Title: Contested understanding of urban governance
Author: Shafiei, Zahed
ISNI:       0000 0004 2730 4151
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2011
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In recent years Iran has adopted a new form of urban governance, featuring a higher level of local autonomy, clarification and improvement of legal status and responsibilities, the development of new political and social organisations, and an enhanced professionalism. This thesis asks: ‗how is urban governance functioning in Iran?‘ and aims to answer this by assessing the process and structure of urban governance through a critical evaluation of how urban governance in the capital city of Tehran is understood by its various stakeholders. In doing so, it attempts to fill a gap in the literature, particularly the dearth of local governance studies in the Middle East, as well as providing general insights into what constitutes ‗good urban governance‘. To gain an initial overview, the research starts out with an appraisal of Tehran‘s governance based on UN-Habitat‘s Urban Governance Index (UGI). This tool allows the evaluation of local governance in Tehran through four dimensions: participation, accountability, equity and effectiveness. Based on the findings of this evaluation, as well as the method‘s limitations, a number of areas are identified as requiring deeper examination. The subsequent, central phase of analysis is thus based on interviews with eight different groups of stakeholders in the city including city executives, councillors, civic associations, citizens, urban experts and private sector actors. The findings indicate that despite the major shift towards decentralisation from 1997, local governance is still undermined by centralised decision-making, due to the continued involvement of central government ministries and departments in city management. A key challenge for local governance is thus to manage the attendant tensions between stakeholders. Local stakeholders expect to be given more space, institutional weight and autonomy in a process of devolution which would bring a more substantial transfer of authority and resources from central to local government, community groups and citizens. Key Words: Urban Governance, UN-Habitat UGI, election, municipality, City Council, citizen participation, Tehran.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available