The Formation of American Local Governments: Private Values in Public Institutions / Edition 1

The Formation of American Local Governments: Private Values in Public Institutions / Edition 1

by Nancy Burns
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0195090934

ISBN-13: 9780195090932

Pub. Date: 09/29/1994

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Why have Americans created thousands of new local governments in recent years, a rate much higher than population increases demand? Conflicts over local power—the power to tax, to issue bonds, and to provide services—have produced solutions that are often as ruthless as they are resourceful.
The first text to illustrate the impact of creating new local

Overview

Why have Americans created thousands of new local governments in recent years, a rate much higher than population increases demand? Conflicts over local power—the power to tax, to issue bonds, and to provide services—have produced solutions that are often as ruthless as they are resourceful.
The first text to illustrate the impact of creating new local governments, this compelling study provides an illuminating examination of the nature of local politics today. Skillfully combining case studies, institutional history, and quantitative analyses, Nancy Burns argues that economic interests, states, the federal government, and inventive individuals have changed the parameters of local institutions, thereby changing local politics. Rather than working for change within the existing system, countless groups have created new municipalities and "special districts," local governments that serve private interests more than the public good. Businesses and developers, who tend to initiate and dominate the process, often serve as organizational bases to help allied groups—such as wealthy homeowners—achieve their goals. Because of the autonomy that local governments enjoy in the U.S., the formation of these new governments has had an impact on the quality of life for many Americans. New boundaries, created mostly along race and class lines, determine access to education, housing, and basic services, allowing the privilege of exclusion to accompany the privilege of municipal management. Revealing the place of local institutions in the larger political spectrum, this landmark work offers students of urban politics and political science a unique look at the structural features of American local politics.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195090932
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
09/29/1994
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
0.00(w) x 0.00(h) x 0.00(d)

Table of Contents

1. Private Values, Public Institutions
Special Districts and Cities
The Significance of Creating Governments
The Consequences of Institutional Choices
The Logic of Local Government Formation
Conclusion
Appendix
Special Districts
Municipalities
2. Particulars of Politics
The Character of Evidence
Special Districts
Municipalities
Conclusion
3. Making Sense of the History
Early U. S. Formations
The Nineteenth Century
The Emergence of Services
Redefining Cities
Early Twentieth Century Districts
More Established Entrepreneurs
Cities and Racial Division
Conclusion
4. Elements of Collective Action
Complicating the Argument
Measurement
The Sample and the Model
Conclusion
Appendix: Measurement and the Model
5. Creating Local Politics
Services and Taxes
Race
Municipalities
The Legal Structures of Supply
Small Groups, Entrepreneurs, and the Enabling of Collective Action
6. The Meaning of Limits
Empirical Results
Implications
Appendix A: Coefficient Estimates and Robust Standard Errors
Appendix B: The Sample
Bibliography

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