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Mayoral Politics
Mayoral politics

Delineating the role, the powers, or the impact of U.S. mayors is not easy. As Edward C. Banfield noted almost forty years ago, the variations among cities in terms of demographics, economics, governmental structure, and relationship to state government are extensive (Banfield 1963). Hence, generalizing about one aspect—such as the role of a mayor—can be difficult, given the other variables that come into play.

Mayors also present an “n of 1,” one case at one time in one place, similar to that of governors or presidents. Because cities vary in numerous ways, cross-national or time series quantitative studies concerning mayoral politics are difficult to conduct. Another major emphasis in urban political study in recent years also has worked against analyses of mayoral activity, ...

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