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Formation of American Local Governments : Private Values in Public Institutions

Formation of American Local Governments : Private Values in Public Institutions - 94 edition

ISBN13: 978-0195090932

Cover of Formation of American Local Governments : Private Values in Public Institutions 94 (ISBN 978-0195090932)
ISBN13: 978-0195090932
ISBN10: 0195090934
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 94
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Published: 1994
International: No

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Formation of American Local Governments : Private Values in Public Institutions - 94 edition

ISBN13: 978-0195090932

Nancy Burns

ISBN13: 978-0195090932
ISBN10: 0195090934
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 94
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Published: 1994
International: No
Summary

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.

Author Bio

Burns, Nancy : University of Michigan

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