Literature on local government in Northern Ireland is somewhat limited. The Local Government System in Northern Ireland is designed to fill that gap. The authors recognize that post-1972 local government was left with a relatively minor range of functions. Nonetheless, they describe a gradual extension of services and functions, mainly in the areas of economic development, community services, tourism and the environment.
They also identify the development of partnership forms of governance with other organisations in the public, private, voluntary and community sectors, largely supported by EU funding.
The book is organised along major themes. It looks at the historical development of local government; the operation of the system; its major functions and recent changes; functions which have developed on the basis of partnership arrangements; North- South co-operation; the financing of local government ;central control and intervention; local government elections and party political composition; and complaints procedures. The book concludes with some comments on the future of local government, particularly in the context of theh Northern Ireland Assembly.