• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Local governments in the United States are important in providing an almost endless variety of services that immediately affect our lives. And, in recent years local governments and administrators are becoming increasingly important as they try to deal effectively with drugs, AIDS, homelessness, gangs, economic decline, or even economic development. A well written examination, this important volume provides a descriptive analysis of how public administrators manage municipal government. Managing Local Government explores conceptual and empirical dimensions of public administration including the legal aspects of public management; human resource management; budgeting and public finance; the political dimension; intergovernmental relations; and ethical considerations. Within this context, the authors take up such pressing and practical issues as economic development, housing, culture and recreation, public safety, transportation, and waste disposal. Professionals and students of public administration, urban studies, policy studies, and political science will find this volume essential reading. “The American text, Managing Local Government: Public Administration in Practice is another example in the large collections of readings, modestly priced, and … covering key policy and administration issues. … The bringing together of these studies, mostly written by practitioners, is a long overdue and worthy contribution to the literature. The insights contained here could hitherto only be gleaned from professional journals. In teaching a course on municipal administration I found this book to contain important practical and theoretical insights. I can only hope that someone will be stimulated to draw together similar insights from the Canadian background.” --Trevor Price, University of Windsor

Intergovernmental Relations
Intergovernmental relations
Paul R.Dommel

In 1961, Robert Dahl, in his book's title, asked the question: Who Governs?1 From his analysis of New Haven, Connecticut, flowed a body of pluralist literature and competing elitist theories. Dahl's focus was on local actors involved in several key issues within New Haven and the balance of power among competing players seeking to influence the outcome. As any local government administrator would agree, “who governs?” is an equally appropriate question for intergovernmental relations. The central fact of local administration is that governing authority is highly fragmented and dispersed among a number of actors both vertically and horizontally.

Vertically, national and state authority may rest with a light or heavy hand on a number of policy areas; for example, among environmental issues ...

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