Political Science Local Governments in the United States
by
Jisun Youm, Richard Feiock
  • LAST REVIEWED: 04 May 2015
  • LAST MODIFIED: 19 March 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756223-0070

Introduction

The study of local governments has a long tradition in political science and has provided a laboratory for testing the many theories developed elsewhere as well as theories specific to the politics and operation of local governments. Formal institutions (rules and laws) and informal institutions (relational networks and conventions) are at the core of local governance and any understanding of how and why local governments do what they do must include the constraints and incentives derived from institutions. The institutional perspective has played only a minor role in the behavioral and class-conflict scholarship that dominated the late 20th century, but institutions have come to play a key role in the contemporary study of urban politics as in the discipline more generally. Forms of local government are numerous and include cities, counties, and a wide array of special districts in the United States. Their formation and institutional structures can be traced to the founding of the Progressive reform movement. Cities are similar to other governments in that they are venues for political interaction of interests groups, legislators, and executive officials. By contrast, they are unique in their number, geographic scale, and intergovernmental position. This places local governments in competition with each other for residents and development. In this environment, local government institutions play a central role in mediating competing constituency demands, the ambitions of local government officials, and the incentives and constraints of intergovernmental competition in a political market. Thus, this literature can make important contributions to understanding politics at every level.

The Emergence of Local Governments in the United States

The emergence of American local government coincided with the birth of American federal government under the United States Constitution in 1789. Even though American city government already existed in the British colonial era in the United States, early era local governments were not organized and did not provide municipal utilities or other services. Van Riper 1983 provides an historical assessment for the US administrative state. The first modern form of American administrative state was under the Federalist-Jeffersonian auspices between 1789 (Washington) and 1829 (Adams). In this era, the rational administrative procedures supported by Alexander Hamilton, such as hierarchical department structure, a merit system, rational and systematic decision making and record keeping, were introduced in the national government and also influenced the operation of local governments. The central theme between the 1770s and the 1870s was that of centralized and strong government based on efficiency. However, a different perspective existed concerning local government, which was captured in Tocqueville’s classic work. Tocqueville 2000 (originally published in 1835) lauds the American local government system for its democratic values, arguing that towns embodied “local-self-government.” Thus, Tocqueville 2000 considers local government as the foundation of all free republican government and the protection of the rights of minorities from all great political combinations. After recognizing the critical role of local government in the US administrative state, Griffith and Adrian 1938 documents the emergence and evolution of early local governments. Based on the previous work, Adrian 1987 explains the transformation of local governments that took place from 1920 to 1945.

  • Adrian, Charles R. A History of American City Government: The Emergence of the Metropolis, 1920–1945. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1987.

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    Introduces issues related to the formation and structure of local governments. The strength of this book lies in its narrative in explicating why local governments during this period transformed themselves and in providing an account of the historical forces that influenced the process.

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  • Griffith, Ernest S., and Charles R. Adrian. A History of American City Government: The Formation of Traditions, 1775–1870. Washington, DC: National Municipal League by University Press of America, 1938.

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    Documents the emergence, characteristics, and structures of cities from 1775 to 1870, explaining the historical background at this time. In the early years, cities emerged as a municipal corporation and were greatly influenced by political parties. Also, since the Industrial Revolution, cities have confronted demands for expansion of services.

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  • Tocqueville, Alexis de. Democracy in America. Translated by Harvey Mansfield and Delba Winthrop. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.

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    English translation of De la démocratie en Amérique, first published in 1835. Tocqueville compares the values of American democracy with European democracy through the account of his travels. He believes that local government promotes responsible citizenship by encouraging the formation of civic associations and attaching citizens psychologically to the ideal of democratic self-governance.

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  • Van Riper, Paul P. “The American Administrative State: Wilson and the Founders—An Unorthodox View.” Public Administration Review 43.6 (November 1983): 477–489.

    DOI: 10.2307/975915Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Reviews and assesses the administrative evolutions of the US administrative state through four eras. It also covers Hamiltonian and Jeffersonian systems, thus capturing the emergence of the administrative bureaucratic system and the political-administrative dichotomy that emerged.

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Types of Local Government

Local governments include more than just cities; local entities include counties, cities, special districts, and other local authorities. More than ninety thousand local governments exist in the United States. Counties traditionally were administrative subdivisions of state governments created to provide state-mandated services. However, Benton 2002 argues that counties have played expanded roles beyond their traditional role. Also, the traditional simple role of the county has evolved to that of a general-purpose local government in many urban areas. To overcome this limited function of county, Berry 2009 argues that special districts can improve democratic responsiveness through providing public services that meet citizen’s demands. Regarding this point, Foster 1997 affirms that the additional spending taxes of special districts can be a critical factor in meeting the demands of citizens. In spite of several merits of special districts, their authority and functional scope are limited because they are mostly single-purpose governments responsible for just one service. In a study of drinking water, Mullin 2009 confirms significant differences between single-purpose and general-purpose governments. Mitchell 1992 presents an edited collection that examines theoretically and practically how public authorities operate like governments.

  • Benton, Edwin J. Counties as Service Delivery Agents: Changing Expectations and Roles. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2002.

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    Counties encompass three types of roles: traditional or state-mandated, local or municipal, and regional or urban. Benton concludes that urban politics, state constitutions, statutes, and financial aid, population growth, metropolitan status, and form of government have each played a role in influencing decision making concerning county services.

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  • Berry, Christopher. Imperfect Union: Representation and Taxation in Multilevel Governments. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511808524Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Advances a political theory of special-purpose jurisdictions. This work is critical to the argument that a fragmented system of single-purpose governments promotes democratic responsiveness. His empirical analyses of school and other local districts support this critique.

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  • Foster, Kathryn A. The Political Economy of Special Purpose Government. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 1997.

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    Describes the causes and effects of special-purpose governments in metropolitan areas. Also, Foster classifies special districts based on geographic scope and property taxing power and empirical tests for differences among them. As a result, she finds that the special-purpose district is more capable of providing specific services that citizens want, but they spend more per capita than general-purpose governments.

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  • Mitchell, Jerry. Public Authorities and Public Policy: The Business of Government. New York: Greenwood, 1992.

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    Accountability issues and use of external and internal techniques to hold authorities are emphasized in the individual chapters of this volume.

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  • Mullin, Megan. Governing the Tap: Special District Governance and the New Local Politics of Water. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2009.

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    This book examines special-purpose government and the fragmentation of policymaking authority with regard to drinking water. The capacity of special districts to engage in responsive and collaborative decision making that promotes sustainable use of water resources is critically assessed. Mullin asserts that the structure of institutions and the severity of the policy problem shape the outcomes and consequences of specialized governance.

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Evolution of Local Structure and Forms of Government

Transformations and reforms of local government structures over time took place in response to diverse demands and problems of society. Kemp 1999 comprehensively covers the evolution of local structures from historical, social, and political perspectives. At the time of the Industrial Revolution, reformers argued that the mayor-council form of government was incapable of solving the problems that resulted from urbanization and industrialization and prescribed an executive chosen on the basis of administrative ability apart from political pressure. Childs 1965 argues that this proposal provided a foundation for the council-manager form of government with a nonelected executive appointed by the council. However, as the nature of urban problems changed in the latter half of the 20th century, the limitations of the council-manager form became apparent. The mayor-council form was deemed more responsiveness in drafting tax and spending policies that took account of differences in class, religious composition, and race than did the council-manager form. In this context, Frederickson, et al. 2004 documents the emergence and evolution of adapted administrative and political forms that combine elements of the previous structure. These modified forms are the products of efforts to embody the political values of direct responsiveness in meeting the needs of particular citizens as well as emphasizing generalized administrative efficiency. However, Nelson and Svara 2010 criticizes the classification of three forms as too simple in failing to for the characteristics of each form. Furthermore, Dye and Garcia 1978 expands on the view of the evolution of local government structures in examining the ability of elected and appointed executives to both make and implement policies.

  • Childs, Richard S. The First 50 Years of the Council-Manager Plan of Municipal Government. New York: National Municipal League, 1965.

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    A classic work on the municipal reform movement that details the transformation of local government from mayor-council to council-manager systems. It also documents the formation, operation, and functions of the council manager form of government.

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  • Dye, Thomas R., and John A. Garcia. “Structure, Function, and Policy in American Cities.” Urban Affairs Review 14.1 (September 1978): 103–122.

    DOI: 10.1177/107808747801400105Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines the capability and administrative responsiveness of city policy outputs to the structures of local government. The authors conclude a structure with an appointed rather than elected executive is inadequate to respond to urban problems.

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  • Frederickson, George H., Gary A. Johnson, and Curtis H. Wood. The Adapted City: Institutional Dynamics and Structural Change. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2004.

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    Advances new categories for understanding forms of government in American cities and argues that the traditional concepts of mayor-council or council-manager forms have changed over the years so that they have become increasingly hybrid forms, which are called the “adapted city.”

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  • Kemp, Roger L., ed. Forms of Local Government: A Handbook on City, County, and Regional Options. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1999.

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    This is an edited book that contains essays by leading scholars who have conducted research on city and county government history, structures, and functions. In conclusion, the editor suggests an appropriate direction to advance the theory, research, and practice of local government in the future.

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  • Nelson, Kimberly L., and James H. Svara. “Adaptation of Models Versus Variations in Form: Classifying Structures of City Government.” Urban Affairs Review 45.4 (March 2010): 544–562.

    DOI: 10.1177/1078087409356349Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Provides a new classification of structures of local governments based on combining variations in models and forms. Based on this research, the authors suggest seven different forms of local governments, which differ from the previous simple classification.

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Municipal Boundary Change and Consolidation

Citizens interested in changing local boundaries to gain access to the powers of local institutions must overcome collective action problems. Burns 1994 interprets local boundary change as constituting efforts to advance participants’ interest. The most common form of boundary change is through annexation to include adjacent, unincorporated territories. Literally thousands of municipal annexations occur each year in the United States. Austin 1999 examines suburban annexations rather than just urban annexations. Also, Carr and Feiock 2001 examines constraints from state government on local annexation. The second, most frequent avenue to boundary change is the creation of special district governments to provide specific services not currently provided by an existing general-purpose government or to replace service provisions by an existing jurisdiction. Dilworth 2005 considers this pattern in treating the demands of citizens in small communities who are dissatisfied with their existing public services. A third means of local boundary change occurs through the formation of new municipal governments, which are typically carved out of unincorporated areas served by county governments. Municipalities have powers of zoning that allow them to determine the nature and extent of permitted activities and, ultimately, who will be able to reside within their boundaries. Less frequently, boundary change occurs through unification of existing governments. Carr and Feiock 2004 argues that consolidations involve merging two or more governments of different levels, which often consists of combining cities and a county government. Together with annexation and consolidation, Katz 2000 emphasizes more interest should be shown in regional government as another form of boundary change that can provide more public services.

  • Austin, D. Andrew. “Politics vs. Economics: Evidence from Municipal Annexation.” Journal of Urban Economics 45.3 (May 1999): 501–532.

    DOI: 10.1006/juec.1998.2102Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Provides a unified model that consists of a mix of economic and political factors that influence decision making for suburban annexations. Austin concludes that politicians seek to offset the migration of poor and minority residents to cities by annexing suburbs.

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  • Burns, Nancy. The Formation of Local Governments: Private Values in Public Institutions. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994.

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    Examines participants who create new local governments and special districts and then change local politics for their personal interests. Participants are defined by interest groups, states, the federal government, and inventive individuals.

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  • Carr, Jered B., and Richard C. Feiock. “State Annexation ‘Constraints’ and the Frequency of Municipal Annexation.” Political Research Quarterly 54.2 (June 2001): 459–470.

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    Assumes that local government is a creature of the state and thus state laws constrain decisions of municipalities. Through this research, the authors conclude that, overall, state laws stimulate rather than constrain annexations.

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  • Carr, Jered B., and Richard C. Feiock, eds. City-County Consolidation and Its Alternatives: Reshaping the Local Government Landscape. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2004.

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    An edited collection on county-city consolidation, this volume advances a collective action theory for understanding the motivations and strategies for boundary change. Transaction cost analysis is used to compare alternatives to city-county consolidation.

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  • Dilworth, Richardson. The Urban Origins of Suburban Autonomy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005.

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    Investigates issues of infrastructure development as constituting the root of metropolitan politics. Based on an examination of patterns of political consolidation in New York and New Jersey, the author concludes that consolidation decisions of voters in small communities depend on whether the large communities can improve public service as much as they tax.

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  • Katz, Bruce. Reflections on Regionalism. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2000.

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    Argues that regions are still important functional units in economic development even though they receive little academic attention in comparison to city-county consolidation or annexation. Katz provides insights into how regions operate and into what the limitations and opportunities are on efforts to reinvent regional governance.

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City Mayors and Managers

In municipal government, mayors and managers can each play the role of chief executive. Much research has been conducted on the differences between these offices and the various changes in their roles over time. Ammons and Newell 1989 highlights the characteristics of the managerial approach of managers and mayors. Also, Nalbandian 1991 stresses the administrative professionalism of the city manager. Beyond the descriptive research, Newell and Ammons 1987 compares how the mayors and managers allocate their work time between policy-related and administrative tasks. However, Zhang and Feiock 2009 argues that this administrative focus does not mean that managers are dominated in the policy decision-making process. Svara 1990 compares the ability of mayor and manager forms in terms of cooperation and conflict. Morgan and Watson 1992 studies the different leadership styles of mayors and managers and their relationship to each other regarding the physical conditions of their communities. Although the city manager is appointed to improve professional administrative leadership, Keene, et al. 2007 underscores the need to add values to this professionalism.

  • Ammons, David N., and Charldean Newell. City Executives: Leadership Roles, Work Characteristics, and Time Management. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989.

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    Examines the roles of mayor and manager and their managerial work in city government. This book then compares the work of executives in municipal government with that in the private sector, and explores their managerial authority for their organizations and the changes in their roles over time.

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  • Keene, John, John Nalbandian, Robert O’Neil Jr., Shannon Portillo, and James Svara. “How Professionals Can Add Value to Their Communities and Organizations.” Public Management 89 (March 2007): 32–39.

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    Examines the proposition that city managers are oriented primarily toward achievement of efficiency and effectiveness in their work. Therefore, the authors demonstrate how to add value to the practices that city managers carry out to enhance professional administrative leadership, and they cite, in support, domestic and international cases.

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  • Morgan, David R., and Sheilah S. Watson. “Policy Leadership in Council-Manager Cities: Comparing Mayor and Manager.” Public Administration Review 52.5 (September 1992): 438–446.

    DOI: 10.2307/976803Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Concludes that under council-manager government, mayoral leadership relies on informal sources of power while managers in larger municipalities have less power than their peers in smaller cities. Close relationships between mayor and manager are reported in most council-manager cities regardless of city size and leadership roles.

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  • Nalbandian, John. Professionalism in Local Government: Transformations in the Roles, Responsibilities, and Values of City Managers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1991.

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    Documents the policy and management roles, conflicts, and interpersonal relations and group dynamics and how they have changed over time.

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  • Newell, Charldean, and David N. Ammons. “Role Emphases of City Managers and Other Municipal Executives.” Public Administration Review 47.3 (May 1987): 246–253.

    DOI: 10.2307/975903Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Clarifies the contemporary role of city managers and compares findings with previous research on the same issue. The authors examined time allocation for different work roles. City managers spend more time working on management tasks than mayors. Also, the evolution of the policy role of managers over time is emphasized.

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  • Svara, James H. Official Leadership in the City: Patterns of Conflict and Cooperation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990.

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    Establishes the proposition that cooperation and conflict both occur in the policy process in local government. Svara affirms that the relationship depends on local government structure. He compares the abilities of mayors and managers on four major dimensions: missions, policy, administration, and management. Svara concludes that the council-manager form stimulates cooperation more than the mayor-council form.

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  • Zhang, Yahong, and Richard C. Feiock. “City Manager’s Policy Leadership in Council-Manager Cities.” Journal of Public Administration Research Theory 20.2 (July 2009): 461–476.

    DOI: 10.1093/jopart/mup015Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines factors that influence variation in the policy-making roles of managers through survey data from Florida council-manager cities. Through this research, the authors find that nonpolitical institutional factors can give city managers a critical role in the policy decision-making process.

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City Councils and Other Legislative Bodies

The Progressive movement stimulated the reform of the city council to eliminate corruption and reduce partisan influences on local politics. The reform council consists of members who are elected at-large and who are, in theory, nonpartisan, thus emphasizing administrative ability. However, critics argue that this system dilutes the representation of all citizens, especially minorities. Bledsoe 1993 provides a good source to acquire an understanding of local legislative environments. Also, Welch and Bledsoe 1988 and Trounstine and Valdini 2008 empirically examine how different types of electoral systems influence representation. Furthermore, Clingermayer and Feiock 2009 argues that electoral systems influence targeting of policy benefits. Hajnal 2010 argues that high rates of turnout can increase the responsiveness of racial and ethnic minorities and, thus, serve to advance their interests in policy decision making. The rate of turnout is important and Hajnal and Lewis 2003 provides several proposals to increase that turnout.

  • Bledsoe, Timothy. Careers in City Politics: The Case for Democracy. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1993.

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    Examines the careers of city councilors as a tool to investigate urban politics. He defines council members’ careers as “the barometers of political health” and examines how they adapted to their jobs and why they chose the jobs.

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  • Clingermayer, James C., and Richard C. Feiock. “Council Views toward Targeting of Development Policy Benefits.” Journal of Politics 57.2 (December 2009): 508–520.

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    Examines how constituency composition and electoral ambitions of council members influence the targeting of policy benefits.

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  • Hajnal, Zoltan L. America’s Uneven Democracy: Race, Turnout, and Representation in City Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

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    Through diverse empirical tests in large cities, Hajnal finds that low turnout rates are related to less racial and ethnic minority representation on city councils. This phenomenon is significantly greater in larger cities than small cities. Also, high representation of racial minority groups can push local politicians to adopt and implement more redistributive policies.

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  • Hajnal, Zoltan L., and Paul G. Lewis. “Municipal Institutions and Voter Turnout in Local Elections.” Urban Affairs Review 38.5 (May 2003): 645–668.

    DOI: 10.1177/1078087403038005002Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Investigates diverse alternatives to increase turnout in local elections. Changing the timing of the local election to coincide with national elections is found to significantly influence the rate of turnout and this translated into differences in city services.

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  • Trounstine, Jessica, and Melody E. Valdini. “The Context Matters: The Effects of Single-Member versus At-Large Districts on City Council Diversity.” American Journal of Political Science 52.3 (July 2008): 554–569.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-5907.2008.00329.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Empirically tests the effects of at-large and district electoral systems on minority representation. The authors find that the electoral system has a significant effect on the representation only when the minority groups are highly concentrated or the proportion of African-American male and white female councilors is high.

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  • Welch, Susan, and Timothy Bledsoe. Urban Reform and Its Consequences: A Study in Representation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988.

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    Investigates the effect of local election procedures on the community through a sample of one thousand city council members in communities with a population of fifty thousand. They conclude that council members elected from a district and partisan system are more likely to represent the whole community and be more accountable.

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Local Representation and Bureaucracy

Electoral bodies are not the only channels for minority representation. The representativeness of bureaucracy can influence responsiveness to diverse community interests in service delivery. Rhys, et al. 2005 empirically tests the relationship between representative bureaucracy and performance of local organizations in examining the managerial efforts of local governments. Additionally, Lipsky 1980 emphasizes the role of street-level bureaucrats, who can easily interact with citizens on a daily basis.

  • Lipsky, Michael. Street-Level Bureaucracy: Dilemmas of the Individual in Public Services. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1980.

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    Calls administrators street-level bureaucrats who interact with regular citizens on a daily basis and who discreetly provide the force behind the given rules and laws. Since the 20th century, they have played a critical role in providing welfare programs and in creating the image of government at all levels.

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  • Rhys, Andrews, Goerge A. Boyne, Kenneth J. Meier, Laurence J. O’Toole Jr., and Richard M. Walker. “Representative Bureaucracy, Organizational Strategy, and Public Service Performance: An Empirical Analysis of English Local Government.” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 15.4 (October 2005): 489–504.

    DOI: 10.1093/jopart/mui032Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Empirically tests the assumption that representative bureaucracy is associated with better performance of organization by examining English local governments. This research emphasizes managerial efforts for public services in local governments and argues that organizational strategy can moderate negative relations between representative bureaucracy and performance.

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Public Choice, Local Competition, and Public Service Delivery

Public choice theories provide the foundation for market approaches to public goods production and provision. In a public goods market, governments compete to attract residents or businesses through efficient production of their preferred services. In this context, Tiebout 1956 argues that citizens having free mobility decide on their preferred places to live depending on public services that local governments provide in a competitive environment. Therefore, local competition makes possible a market-type solution. As one type of market solution, Bish and Ostrom 1973 provides a public choice approach in emphasizing the importance of local competition. However, according to Peterson 1981, the policy options of cities are limited by the necessity to improve their market position in this intergovernmental competition. Also, Schneider 1989 argues that this local competition does not have a significant effect on developmental expenditure on suburban areas. In addition, contracting alternative service deliveries through private firms, nonprofits, and other governments are mechanisms to efficiently produce services to match the preferences of citizens. To empirically test this assertion, Brown and Potoski 2003 applies transaction costs. Ferris and Graddy 1986 approaches this research within a public and sector choice framework. Milward and Provan 2000 introduces governance structure to examine the research on public service delivery. See also Stein 1990.

  • Bish, Robert L., and Vincent Ostrom. Understanding Urban Government: Metropolitan Reform Reconsidered. Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute, 1973.

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    Applies a public choice approach to urban problems. Citizens have diverse individual preference for public goods and services. The authors argue that traditional metropolitan consolidation cannot account for these urban problems and respond to diverse preferences in the context of a polycentric system of governments.

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  • Brown, Trevor L., and Matthew Potoski. “Transaction Costs and Institutional Explanations for Government Service Production Decisions.” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 13.4 (October 2003): 441–468.

    DOI: 10.1093/jopart/mug030Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines the transaction costs in service delivery markets arising from specific assets and the difficulty of measuring service.

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  • Ferris, James, and Elizabeth Graddy. “Contracting Out: For What? With Whom?” Public Administration Review 46.4 (July 1986): 332–344.

    DOI: 10.2307/976307Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Applies two decision models, namely, public choice and sector choice framework, to account for determinants that influence the purpose of, and the gains from, contracting out and the decisions of the agent who can efficiently delivery public services.

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  • Milward, Brinton H., and Keith G. Provan. “Governing the Hollow State.” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 10.2 (April 2000): 359–379.

    DOI: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.jpart.a024273Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Introduces empirical findings and a theoretical framework that includes mechanisms, incentives, and structures used by governments in order to govern, whether or not third-parties efficiently provide public services.

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  • Peterson, Paul. City Limits. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.

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    Identifies the limitations of cities in the provision of public goods and how markets constrain redistributive policy. Cities are further constrained by their limited revenue-raising potential and the need for private investment.

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  • Schneider, Mark. The Competitive City: The Political Economy of Suburbia. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1989.

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    Moves the unit of analysis for the study of local competition from central cities to suburbs. Schneider finds that in suburban areas, competition cannot increase developmental expenditure.

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  • Stein, Robert M. Urban Alternatives: Public and Private Markets in the Provision of Local Services. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1990.

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    Identifies and explains patterns of service contracting and alternative service provision in urban areas.

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  • Tiebout, Charles. “A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures.” Journal of Political Economy 64.5 (October 1956): 416–424.

    DOI: 10.1086/257839Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Provides a model that represents public good–tax bundles, the provision of which depends on residents “voting with their feet.” This mechanism constrains and disciplines local government behavior.

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Neighborhoods, Interest Groups, and Urban Regimes

Molotch 1976 represents the city as a growth machine and accounts for the phenomenon of urban politics with an urban regime theory by which city is governed by a coalition of private, public institutions, and civic leaders. By contrast, Dahl 2005 asserts a pluralistic approach in providing an explanation for urban governance that sees policies as reflecting competing group interests. Regime theories see group influence as more elitist and they draw on the importance of informal coalitions in urban policies. Under this understanding of the urban regime, Stone 1989 examines supportive relationships between urban politicians and bureaucrats and interest groups in Atlanta. Jones and Bachelor 1986 accounts for this mechanism through the goal to win election or reelection associated with the desire of interest groups to gain the sources they need to do so. On the other hand, Bridges 1997 and Trounstine 2009 are concerned about the urban regime as a growth machine and warn about the tendency of reform systems to weaken democratic politics. Klinenberg 2002 uses the Chicago heat wave to document the consequences of neighborhood social breakdown and the institutional failures of governance. Crenson 1983 argues that social diversity, inequality, and conflict, rather than stability, are vehicles to grow communities. Oliver, et al. 2012 examines how elections and electoral politics at the local level differ from state and national electoral politics.

  • Bridges, Amy. Morning Glories: Municipal Reform in the Southwest. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997.

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    Bridges examines the creation and operation of reformed political institutions in large cities in the Southwest. Her analysis shows that the 1975 Voting Rights Act, that is, federal intervention, helped to incorporate Latino voters into the system and dethrone the Anglo political oligarchies of the Southwest.

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  • Crenson, Matthew A. Neighborhood Politics. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983.

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    Under a situation of social chaos, residents more actively express neighborhood actions and create unofficial neighborhood government themselves in order to sustain their public order, health, and safety.

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  • Dahl, Robert A. Who Governs? Democracy and Power in an American City. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005.

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    Denies that a single elite decides all policies across urban issues and argues that power is divided among multiple holders that have power to influence policies. Pluralism is fundamental to urban governance, which emphasizes coalition governing rather than a single central authority.

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  • Jones, Bryan, and Lynn Bachelor. The Sustaining Hand: Community Leadership and Corporate Power. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1986.

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    Analyzes the relationship between interest groups, which are motivated by profit, and political leaders, who are motivated by electoral gain. Under this mechanism, the regime is a machine to create the preferred solutions that can satisfy their different motivations.

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  • Klinenberg, Eric. Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002.

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    Klinenberg examines how the social, political, and institutional history of Chicago exacerbated the human consequences and loss of life resulting from the July 1995 heat wave. His “social autopsy” implicates both the city government and the fact of social breakdown of neighborhoods.

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  • Molotch, Harvey. “The City as a Growth Machine: Toward a Political Economy of Place.” American Journal of Sociology 82.2 (September 1976): 309–332.

    DOI: 10.1086/226311Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Provides a background for the advancement of the urban regime school. Molotch describes the city as a growth machine alliance of government officials and business and development interests that benefit from growth.

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  • Oliver, Eric, Shan E. Ha, and Zachary Callen. Local Elections and the Politics of Small-Scale Democracy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2012.

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    Puts forward an innovative theory of local governments as “managerial democracies” with distinct electoral politics. Unlike state and national contests, local elections are based on the custodial performance of civic-oriented leaders and on their personal connections to voters with community ties that are also deep.

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  • Stone, Clarence N. Regime Politics: Governing Atlanta, 1946–1988. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1989.

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    Points out that urban politicians and bureaucracies tend to support specific interests of upper-class or business groups, which control valuable resources in society and whose support is necessary for governing.

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  • Trounstine, Jessica. Political Monopolies in American Cities: The Rise and Fall of Bosses and Reformers. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009.

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    This book examines city bosses and reformers and assesses the rise of monopolistic regimes in American cities. Trounstine argues that political monopolies retain power and establish control and coalitions by eliminating competitors. Thus, political monopolies are stable and immune to popular sanction because bosses and reformers alike figure out how to exclude competitors.

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Governance and Networks

The network governance approach argues that formal and informal relationships among governments and other organizations are an effective alternative to consolidation for coordinating policy decisions. Scholz and Stiftel 2005 examines adaptive governance as a solution for a variety of policy problems. Agranoff and McGuire 2003 offers an approach to governance structure from a managerial perspective in which collaborative networks among public and nonpublic organizations address service issues. Lubell, et al. 2002 studies collaborative processes for establishing watershed partnerships and how they reflect efforts to reduce transaction costs. Additionally, Feiock 2004 argues that urban governance is characterized by decentralized horizontal and vertical organizational relationships and voluntary self-organizing agreement among governments or between governments and community actors. Oakerson 1999 describes how local governance can be structured by local participants as an alternative to centralized consolidation while Stephens and Wikstrom 2000 argues that local governance structure by city-council consolidation can be another appropriate form to improve public service delivery.

  • Agranoff, Robert, and Michael McGuire. Collaborative Public Management. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2003.

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    Establishes a collaboration structure emphasizing efficient public service delivery. The authors provide many managerial approaches that embody how public managers define complex problems and establish collaborative activities through networks with other government agencies and nonprofit organizations established to meet the most challenging problems.

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  • Feiock, Richard C., ed. Metropolitan Governance: Conflict, Competition, and Cooperation. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2004.

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    Edited collection that investigates decentralized governance characterized by self-governance and voluntary agreement among all participants. Specially, the process and cooperative activities in this governance are empirically demonstrated by the institutional collective action framework.

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  • Lubell, Mark, Mark Schneider, John Scholz, and Mihriye Mete. “Watershed Partnership and the Emergence of Collective Action Institutions.” American Journal of Political Science 46.1 (January 2002): 148–163.

    DOI: 10.2307/3088419Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues that when resource users are able to overcome transaction cost barriers to collective action they can form effective institutions through watershed partnerships to solve joint problems.

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  • Oakerson, Ronald. Governing Local Public Economies: Creating the Civic Metropolis. Oakland, CA: ICS Press, 1999.

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    Argues that citizens should be allowed to participate in all decision-making processes in order to shape the local public economy. Based on this argument, he suggests the civic metropolis as an alternative to consolidation of governments.

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  • Scholz, John T., and Bruce Stiftel, eds. Adaptive Governance and Water Conflict: New Institutions for Collaborative Planning. Washington, DC: Resources for the Future Press, 2005.

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    Describes the process to solve conflicts among competing authorities through new arrangements among institutions. The authors argue that the new governance institutions will lead all participants to develop sustainable solutions for policy problems.

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  • Stephens, Ross G., and Nelson Wikstrom. Metropolitan Government and Governance: Theoretical Perspectives, Empirical Analysis, and the Future. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

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    Advocates metropolitan governance through city-county consolidation with the larger county government. The authors argue the governance structure can improve government services. Additionally, state governments should play a critical role to establish this governance structure through dedicated tax revenues.

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Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations

Local decision making is nested in an intergovernmental hierarchy in which state-level incentives, rules, and policies shape local action. Therefore, understanding the hierarchical relationship between state and local government is foundational to examining local governance and local policy decision making. Research on the hierarchical relationship has been undertaken using different approaches. Bednar 2009 applies a reciprocal theory to explain the cooperation between state and local government. Clingermayer and Feiock 2001 assumes local and state governments to be rational actors that attempt to reduce transaction costs in making their relationship. Additionally, Chubb 1985 applies principal agent theory to examine the impact of home rule powers and intergovernmental programs. Home rule grants authority to allow municipal governments to make decisions and undertake activities by themselves unless they are prohibited by state governments from doing so. Frug and Barron 2008 considers two opposite sides of state laws, both as stimulators and obstacles operating at the same time. As the obstacle, Gillette 2009 examines fiscal constraints of state governments on the behavior of local actors. Additionally, McCabe 2000 argues that home rule can be offset by state fiscal and budget restrictions such as tax and expenditure or debt limits. However, restrictions are often circumvented, for example, by formation of special districts. By contrast, Eisinger 1998 emphasizes the administrative self-reliance of local government through federal devolution. Derthick 2001 examines the concept of federalism in defining it as a compound republic that balances national and local authority.

  • Bednar, Jenna. The Robust Federation: Principles and Design. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

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    Approaches the hierarchical relation between governments with a reciprocal theory by which an institution complements others rather than competing with them and making the others more powerful.

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  • Chubb, John E. “The Political Economy of Federalism.” American Political Science Review 79.4 (December 1985): 994–1015.

    DOI: 10.2307/1956245Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Applies principal-agent theory to examine the influence of intergovernmental implementation on the performance of two major federal grant programs. This work identifies how federalism imposes incentives and constraints on local governments.

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  • Clingermayer, James C., and Richard C. Feiock. Institutional Constraints and Policy Choice: An Exploration of Local Governance. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2001.

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    Assumes governments act as a rational entity and explains the relationship between state and local governments by means of a transaction costs approach. Constitutional rules established by state law increase or decrease the transaction costs that result from local government decision-making process.

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  • Derthick, Martha. Keeping the Compound Republic: Essays on American Federalism. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2001.

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    The essays in this volume probe the nature and structure of the compound republic and its evolution over time with attention to how the US Supreme Court decisions have shaped the role of local governments within the federal system.

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  • Eisinger, Peter. “City Politics in an Era of Federal Devolution.” Urban Affairs Review 33.3 (January 1998): 308–325.

    DOI: 10.1177/107808749803300302Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Critically examines federal fiscal assistance to local governments. Eisinger argues that to strengthen the fiscal condition and promote the administrative self-reliance of local governments, the federal government should devolve more authority to these governments. He concludes that local politicians can focus on their management skills in order to control more resources that would accrue from this devolution.

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  • Frug, Gerald E., and David J. Barron. City Bound: How States Stifle Urban Innovation. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2008.

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    Focuses on the role of state law on urban development plans. The authors conclude that state law could be a good way to lead cities to implement and advance a coherent vision or an obstacle because the state has conventionally distrusted their decision making.

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  • Gillette, Clayton P. “Fiscal Home Rule.” Denver University Law Review 86.5 (2009): 1241–1261.

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    Examines the use of state government regulations to fiscally constrain local governments. State governments sometimes impose taxes and issue debt on capital projects.

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  • McCabe, Barbara C. “Special-District Formation among the States.” State and Local Government Review 32.2 (Spring 2000): 121–131.

    DOI: 10.1177/0160323X0003200204Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines different approaches to using state fiscal power over local governments. McCabe argues that fiscal restrictions on municipal authority lead cities to establish special districts to circumvent this constraint.

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Economic Development

Issues of economic development have long been of central importance in the history of US cities and counties. Local economic development activity has dramatically intensified as part of the process of moving toward an “enterprise” state. Given that fact, Eisinger 1988 considers state and local government as entrepreneurs. The language of welfare has been replaced by the language of growth, regeneration, and public/private partnership. A central feature of locally based economic development is the emphasis placed on endogenous development using the potential of human and physical resources to create new employment opportunities and to stimulate new, locally based economic activity. Therefore, the public sector is responsible for guiding private investment decisions to generate desired economic development outcomes. Barnes and Ledebur 1998 emphasizes the role of regions as leaders of local economic development and the limits of local competition. Feiock 2002 outlines potential positive effects of local competition on economic development as well as its limitations. Moreover, Feiock 1991 and Kwon, et al. 2009 investigate local government policy programs and their impacts on local growth and economic development.

  • Barnes, William R., and Larry C. Ledebur. The New Regional Economies: The US Common Market and the Global Economy. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 1998.

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    Argues that competition among governments for economic development has negative consequences for the region and makes all competing governments worse off.

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  • Eisinger, Peter K. The Rise of the Entrepreneurial State: State and Local Economic Development Policy in the United States. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1988.

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    Argues that the role of state and local governments in economic development has moved from a supply side role of offering incentives to a demand side role focused on entrepreneurial action to stimulate demand for local products.

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  • Feiock, Richard C. “The Effects of Economic Development Policy on Local Economic Growth.” American Journal of Political Science 35.3 (August 1991): 643–655.

    DOI: 10.2307/2111559Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines whether or not local government economic development programs work by investigating changes in investments, jobs, and income.

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  • Feiock, Richard C. “A Quasi-Market Framework for Local Economic Development Competition.” Journal of Urban Affairs 24.2 (December 2002): 123–142.

    DOI: 10.1111/1467-9906.00118Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Makes the case that development competition among governments has positive effects but only in instances where the development of quasi-markets leads to government or market failures.

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  • Kwon, Myungjung, Frances S. Berry, and Richard C. Feiock. “Understanding the Adoption and Timing of Economic Development Strategies in US Cities Using Innovation and Institutional Analysis.” Journal of Public Administration and Theory 19.4 (October 2009): 967–988.

    DOI: 10.1093/jopart/mun026Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Focuses on strategic planning for economic development by local governments. The authors apply the diffusion of innovation models to the adoption of development plans in US cities.

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Land Use and Growth Management

The concept of local government as a growth machine based on economic development has generated diverse social problems. As a result, local governments have found themselves switching from pro-development programs to pro-environment programs. Given this development, DeGrove 1984 shows the efforts of states to combat problems of unplanned growth and urban sprawl. With the growth of state management regulations, local governments mainly control community land use and promote growth management programs in terms of regulatory policy. Given this fact, Ramirez 2009 argues that successful implementation of these programs depends on the peculiar characteristics of local government political institutions. By contrast, Anthony 2004 and Fischel 1989 suspect the effectiveness of these regulations on protecting land use and reducing urban sprawl. Furthermore, Danielson 1976 expands the scope of research on these regulations into the suburbs.

  • Anthony, Jerry. “Do State Growth Management Regulations Reduce Sprawl?.” Urban Affairs Review 39.3 (January 2004): 376–394.

    DOI: 10.1177/1078087403257798Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Concludes the current state growth management programs do not significantly reduce urban sprawl through examining residential density and comparing states without these programs. Also, Anthony suggests modifying state growth management regulation programs in order to more effectively solve urban sprawl problems.

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  • Danielson, Michael N. The Politics of Exclusion. New York: Columbia University Press, 1976.

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    Examines natural, political, and social factors stemming from the exclusion of suburban areas. Danielson argues that residents in suburban areas intentionally seek exclusion in order to escape from dealing with the problems of inner cities. Therefore, they push politicians to use beggar-thy-neighbor economic strategies, which the latter adopt because of their desire to win reelection.

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  • DeGrove, John M. Land, Growth & Politics. Washington, DC: Planners Press, 1984.

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    Documents the history and purposes of environmental politics related to land use and growth management through examining seven states over a ten-year period.

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  • Fischel, William. Do Growth Controls Matter? Cambridge, MA: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 1989.

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    Provides a comprehensive review of local government land use regulation and growth controls. Fischel finds the evidence that growth controls have positive and negative impacts on communities, their environment, and the local economy.

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  • Ramirez, Edgar E. “Local Political Institutions and Smart Growth: An Empirical Study of the Politics of Compact Development.” Urban Affairs Review 45.2 (November 2009): 218–246.

    DOI: 10.1177/1078087409334309Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Empirically tests which characteristics of local government political institutions can influence the effectiveness of diverse policy instruments in terms of smart growth related to land use regulations.

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Energy, Sustainability, and Climate Change

Since the 1980s, environmental policy concerns have moved from the era of command and control regulation to an era focused on sustainability. Saha and Paterson 2008 defines that sustainability based on economic, equity, and environmental goals. Portney 2003 and Mazmanian and Kraft 2009 emphasize the fact that local government takes on a critical role as the decision maker in choosing actions to achieve these goals. Bestill 2001 and Zahran, et al. 2008 consider efforts by local officials to adopt and implement local climate change programs. Krause 2011 argues that intergovernmental relations between state and local governments need to be taken into account in explanations of local climate protection. Fitzgerald 2010 argues that green economic development can revitalize older industrial cities.

  • Bestill, Michele M. “Mitigating Climate Change in US Cities: Opportunities and Obstacles.” Local Environment 6.4 (August 2001): 393–406.

    DOI: 10.1080/13549830120091699Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines the motivations for, and barriers to, cities to mitigate climate change through analyzing the contents of the Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) campaign. Bestill argues that variation in climate actions reflects local officials pursuit of the cobenefits of controlling greenhouse gas emissions.

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  • Fitzgerald, Joan. Emerald Cities: Urban Sustainability and Economic Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

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    Argues that cities are uniquely suited to promote and benefit from green economic development. Fitzgerald also examines how investing in green research and technology may help to revitalize older industrial cities. These “emerald cities” can develop individualistic local approaches that offer opportunities for addressing problems of climate change, energy efficiency, and conservation at the local level.

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  • Krause, Rachel M. “Policy Innovation, Intergovernmental Relations, and the Adoption of Climate Protection Initiatives by US Cities.” Journal of Urban Affairs 33.1 (February 2011): 45–60.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9906.2010.00510.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Captures the effect of state-level factors on the decision making of local governance, which much of the previous research has omitted, by applying hierarchical linear model analysis.

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  • Mazmanian, Daniel A., and Michael E. Kraft, eds. Toward Sustainable Communities: Transition and Transformations in Environmental Policy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2009.

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    Assesses the factors that influenced the success and failure of environmental policies at all level of government. The authors conclude that the most recent trend is toward community sustainability and that sustainability of a community determines whether environmental policy is successfully implemented.

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  • Portney, Kent. Taking Sustainable Cities Seriously: Economic Development, the Environment, and Quality of Life in American Cities. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003.

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    Attempts to define, measure, and rank the sustainability efforts of cities. Portney provides a comprehensive review and assessment of these efforts by American cities.

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  • Saha, Devashree, and Robert G. Paterson. “Local Government Efforts to Promote the Three E’s of Sustainable Development: Survey in Medium to Large Cities in the United States.” Journal of Planning Education and Research 28.1 (Fall 2008): 21–37.

    DOI: 10.1177/0739456X08321803Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines whether local principles of sustainable development are committed in planning practices. Current policies for sustainable development were found not to adequately treat social equity. Cities have achieved a goal of sustainability through policy actions such as energy conservation, green building programs, and affordable housing programs rather than establishing a comprehensive and long-term sustainability plan.

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  • Zahran, Sammy, Himanshi Grover, Samuel D. Brody, and Arnold Vedlitz. “Risk, Stress, and Capacity: Explaining Metropolitan Commitment to Climate Protection.” Urban Affairs Review 43.4 (March 2008): 447–474.

    DOI: 10.1177/1078087407304688Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Investigates which factors encourage cities to sign on to climate change mitigation agreements. Climate change risk, climate change stress, and civic capacity are found to push local officials into the participation.

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Local Governments and Globalization

Many scholars contend that development of cities will be vital for their survival in the era of globalization. DeFilippis 2003 argues that increasing globalization challenges the lifestyles of a large number of people in the United States. Several scholars offer alternatives to communities such as urban amenities (Glaeser 2011), regional clusters (Porter 2000), and knowledge agglomeration (Florida 2002), that can make local governments vital in the 21st century. Urban regions can serve as the centers of innovation and culture. However, Feiock, et al. 2008 argues that regionalism and collaborative regional governance are central to empowering cities in the age of globalization.

  • DeFilippis, James. Unmaking Goliath: Community Control in the Face of Global Capital. London: Routledge, 2003.

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    Examines antiglobalization activities and provides two alternatives for local autonomy in the era of globalization, namely, community control and collective ownership. Through efforts to generate these alternatives, communities can promote the well-being of their citizens through their own locally based initiatives.

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  • Feiock, Richard C., M. Jae Moon, and Hyung Jun Park. “Is the World ‘Flat’ or ‘Spiky’? Rethinking the Governance Implications of Globalization for Economic Development.” Public Administration Review 68.1 (January–February 2008): 24–35.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6210.2007.00832_2.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Warns about simply and narrowly applying arguments about globalization or creative class culture. Instead, the authors suggest that regional governance would best fit the globalization era as a regional economic development strategy that bridge differing perspectives on place.

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  • Florida, Richard. The Rise of the Creative Class and How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life. New York: Basic Books, 2002.

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    Focuses on a “creative class” as a new and effective determinant for local economic development. This class shares common characteristics such as diversity, creative, innovative, and individuality. Their work, thought, and life style can influence local businesses and even raise taxes in localities due to the types of careers in which they are engaged.

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  • Glaeser, Edward L. Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier. New York: Penguin, 2011.

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    Appraises the new urbanism and argues that the high population density and mixed land use characteristics of cities positively influence the physical and mental health and economic capacity of cities.

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  • Porter, Michael E. “Location, Competition, and Economic Development: Local Clusters in a Global Economy.” Economic Development Quarterly 14.1 (February 2000): 15–34.

    DOI: 10.1177/089124240001400105Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues for the importance of regional clusters as an effective and competitive strategy for economic development. Because clusters influence the overall economy they shape national-level policy. Porter affirms that governments should attempt to remove obstacles to the growth of clusters, improve existing clusters, and stimulate the emergence of new clusters.

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Institutions and the Political Market

The political market framework is an approach to building theories of local government policy that takes into account how local government political institutions mediate the relationships between citizens and policymakers in the policy decision-making process. The approach builds from the market analogy, namely, that demands are expressed as citizens or interest groups for particular policies based on their interests and preferences. Government officials are the suppliers of policies and their choices reflect their policy preferences as well as their interests to secure reelection or obtain professional advancement. In this situation, political institutions play the role of mediator to determine the interests of which groups are represented. Lineberry and Fowler 1967 demonstrates that responses to policy demands differ for reformed and unreformed city governments. Additionally, Maser 1998 examines the powers of the city council and the executive as defined by the local constitution, which can determine the characteristics of community. Lubell, et al. 2005 and Sharp, et al. 2011 expand the scope of the application of political market theory in undertaking research on pro-environment policies, such as climate change protection and land use.

  • Lineberry, Robert L., and Edmund P. Fowler. “Reformism and Public Policies in American Cities.” American Political Science Review 61.3 (September 1967): 701–716.

    DOI: 10.2307/1976089Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The transformation of social conflict and socioeconomic cleavages in communities into policy outputs is demonstrated as depending on local government’s political structures.

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  • Lubell, Mark, Richard C. Feiock, and Edgar Ramirez. “Political Institutions and Conservation by Local Governments.” Urban Affairs Review 40.6 (July 2005): 706–729.

    DOI: 10.1177/1078087404274137Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Applies the political market framework to explore the effect of local legislative and executive institutions on environmental public goods and the adoption of conservation amendments in comprehensive plans. This work finds that local political institutions determine the rules and procedures for making collective choices.

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  • Maser, Steven M. “Constitutions as Relational Contracts: Explaining Procedural Safeguards in Municipal Charters.” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 8.4 (October 1998): 527–564.

    DOI: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.jpart.a024395Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Explores municipal charters that define the structures of city councils and grant executives the power to veto ordinances. Masur’s analysis demonstrates that specific configurations of constitutional rules are linked to community characteristics using transaction resource theory.

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  • Sharp, Elaine B., Dorothy M. Daley, and Michael S. Lynch. “Understanding Local Adoption and Implementation of Climate Change Mitigation Policy.” Urban Affairs Review 47.3 (May 2011): 433–457.

    DOI: 10.1177/1078087410392348Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The authors empirically test factors accounting for local policy actions for climate protection. The form of government plays a mediating role in the response by cities to community climate problems and demands.

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