Official Leadership in the City: Patterns of Conflict and Cooperation / Edition 1

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The burden of addressing the problems of urban society fall increasingly on cities as the federal government cuts back domestic spending. This book examines the roles of mayors, councils, and administrators in governing and managing their cities. Positing that the internal dynamics of city governments are largely shaped by their structures, the author shows how council-manager governmental structures often foster more cooperation than do mayor-council structures. Svara provides contrasting models of interaction among officials in the two forms and shows how conflict and cooperation affect the performance of officials in the two structures; he contends that proper understanding of the roles and behavior appropriate to each will lead to equal effectiveness between the two.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The main argument of this book is that cooperation as well as conflict can be found in the local governmental process, and that structural features of a city, particularly the form of government by which it operates, tend to cause a city to follow one pattern or the other—conflict or cooperation. Svara puts forth a new and different segmentation of municipal decision-making, arguing that it occurs in four major dimensions [mission, policy, administration, and management] and then proceeds to analyze the responsibilities of elected officials and administrators for each of these dimensions. [This book] is a significant addition to the world of urban research. It would certainly be one of a small core of books that would be on my list whenever I offered a course in urban government, public administration, municipal management and similar areas."—Terrell Blodgett, University of Texas, Austin

"This book will be valuable in more than just the academic setting. There continue to be a large number of cities evaluating and reviewing their form of government with an eye toward changing their basic structure. Svara's is a very useful analytical approach. It not only shows the inherent positives and negatives of the different forms of government; it suggests ways to attempt to lessen the impact of the shortcomings....This book will be a valuable tool for newly elected mayors and city council members. Its description of the different types of behavior elected officials can practice will be an extremely valuable introduction to the job they are about to undertake."—John Parr, National Civic League

"A superb book that sums up well the vast literature in this field and offers genuinely new and exciting perspectives on an old but critical subject....I suspect it will be considered the standard text."—Richard Stillman, George Mason University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195057621
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/1990
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 312
  • Lexile: 1510L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 1.08 (d)

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