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“Big City Politics in Transition is a good reference volume packed with much important and up-to-date information.” --Environment and Planning “A timely book that revisits the field so well described by Edward Banfield (Big City Politics, 1965) as of the early 1960s but which has changed greatly since then. … Each profile shows a high level of research, and the notes provide a thorough bibliography of the literature. A tremendously useful book for readers at all levels.” --Choice “This book was inspired by Edward Banfield's Big City Politics of 1965. [In Big City Politics in Transition] the introduction amply justifies the need for a new volume.… This multiauthored volume examines thirteen cities: Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Saint Louis, Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, Denver, Houston, Los ...

Los Angeles: Transformation of a Governing Coalition
Los Angeles: Transformation of a governing coalition
Alan L.Saltzstein, Raphael J.Sonenshein

THIRTY YEARS AGO, Edward Banfield described Los Angeles city government as “pre-Civil War.” The mayor, he argued, was “almost too weak to cut ribbons” (Banfield, 1963, p. 80), and the major functions of government were divided between a strong City Council, numerous autonomous departments, and an electorate with considerable statutory authority through initiatives and referenda. He found power widely dispersed and central authority nearly nonexistent. Banfield and co-author James Q. Wilson claimed that because of these traits, “… many things cannot be done because it is impossible to secure the collaboration of all those whose collaboration is needed” (Banfield & Wilson, 1963, p. 111).

There is evidence that within the ...

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