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The Intergovernmental Environment
The intergovernmental environment

The two most important attributes of the American political system—federalism and separation of powers—constitute an intergovernmental context that presents numerous challenges and opportunities for urban policymaking. The diffusion of power and authority in metropolitan areas is especially salient for central city governments, which often face a disproportionate share of problems and a shortage of resources and authority to respond to them. Thus, in order to more fully understand contemporary urban policymaking, one must extend the scope of inquiry beyond the formal institutions of city government and examine the variety of means federal, state, and other local governments can employ to limit or expand the actions city officials can take to address important problems. Two recent examples, from Buffalo and Atlanta, ...

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