County Governments In An Era Of Change

Overview

This long-needed, volume gives an overview of the past, present, and future of American county government. Recognized authorities describe how county governments have developed, how they are chosen and function in metropolitan and rural counties, and how they interrelate with state and national units of government. This primer analyzing how governmental roles are changing and how counties governments in the future might better deliver essential human services is intended for students and professionals and for ...

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Overview

This long-needed, volume gives an overview of the past, present, and future of American county government. Recognized authorities describe how county governments have developed, how they are chosen and function in metropolitan and rural counties, and how they interrelate with state and national units of government. This primer analyzing how governmental roles are changing and how counties governments in the future might better deliver essential human services is intended for students and professionals and for classroom use, for courses in state and local government, urban and rural studies, and public administration.

This expert overview begins with a short introduction and brief history. Then three chapters outline the broad characteristics of county governments today in terms of authority, structure, elections, legislatures and legislation, the capacities of county governments, and intergovernmental relations. Five chapters assess in turn how counties provide full-service government, the characteristics of metropolitan counties and urbanization, the special problems of rural county governments, shifting roles in county-state relations, and county policy objectives at the national level. The conclusion discusses counties, other governments, and future prospects. The reference list points to related readings of note.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

DAVID R. BERMAN is Professor of Political Science at Arizona State University.

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Table of Contents

Tables and Figures
Preface
Introduction: Counties, Change, and Reform: An Overview
Ch. 1 American County Government: An Historical Perspective 1
Ch. 2 Governing the County: Authority, Structure, and Elections 15
Ch. 3 Legislatures and Legislating in County Government 29
Ch. 4 County Capacity and Intergovernmental Relations 43
Ch. 5 County Services: The Emergence of Full-Service Government 53
Ch. 6 Metropolitan Counties and Urbanization 71
Ch. 7 The Special Problems of Rural County Governments 89
Ch. 8 Shifting Roles in County-State Relations 107
Ch. 9 Counties and the National Agenda 123
Ch. 10 Counties, Other Governments, and the Future 135
References 143
Index 157
About the Contributors 165
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