Local government

related topics
{government, party, election}
{area, part, region}
{city, large, area}
{law, state, case}
{county, mile, population}
{rate, high, increase}
{company, market, business}
{island, water, area}
{country, population, people}
{language, word, form}
{borough, population, unit_pref}
{town, population, incorporate}
{township, household, population}
{village, small, smallsup}
{school, student, university}

Local government refers collectively to administrative authorities over areas that are smaller than a state.

The term is used to contrast with offices at nation-state level, which are referred to as the central government, national government, or (where appropriate) federal government. "Local government" only acts within powers delegated to it by legislation or directives of the higher level of government and each country has some kind of local government which will differ from those of other countries. In primitive societies the lowest level of local government is the village headman or tribal chief. Federal states such as the United States have two levels of government above the local level: the governments of the fifty states and the federal national government whose relations are governed by the constitution of the United States. Local government in the United States originated in the colonial period and has been modified since then: the highest level of local government is at county level.

In modern nations, local governments usually have some of the same kind of powers as national governments do. They usually have some power to raise taxes, though these may be limited by central legislation. The question of Municipal Autonomy—which powers the local government has, or should have, and why—is a key question of public administration and governance. The institutions of local government vary greatly between countries, and even where similar arrangements exist, the terminology often varies. Common names for local government entities include state, province, region, department, county, prefecture, district, city, township, town, borough, parish, municipality, shire and village. However all these names are often used informally in different countries & local government is the legal part of central government.

Main articles on each country will usually contain some information about local government, or links to an article with fuller information. The rest of this article gives information or links for countries where a relatively full description is available.


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