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- Local democracy is the self-government of cities, towns, villages and districts by democratic means—typically, but not exclusively, through elected mayors, councils and other local officials.
- Local democracy is often considered a tool to facilitate public participation, improve service delivery, strengthen communities, end marginalization and improve development outcomes.
- Excessive localization can result in patchy and fragmented service delivery, especially where powers granted to local authorities outstrip the capacity of local authorities to deliver.
- Localization of power can create local oligarchies or local autocracy in which unaccountable powers are exercised without real democratic representation or accountability.
- All countries in the world, perhaps with the exception of some micro-states, have some form of local democracy. The degree of constitutional specification varies, however.