The Formation of American Local Governments: Private Values in Public Institutions by Nancy BurnsThe Formation of American Local Governments: Private Values in Public Institutions by Nancy Burns

The Formation of American Local Governments: Private Values in Public Institutions

byNancy Burns

Paperback | September 1, 1994

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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 economicinterests, 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," localgovernments 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 governmentsenjoy 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 privilegeof 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.
Nancy Burns is at University of Michigan.
Title:The Formation of American Local Governments: Private Values in Public InstitutionsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:September 1, 1994Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195090934

ISBN - 13:9780195090932


Table of Contents

1. Private Values, Public InstitutionsSpecial Districts and CitiesThe Significance of Creating GovernmentsThe Consequences of Institutional ChoicesThe Logic of Local Government FormationConclusionAppendixSpecial DistrictsMunicipalities2. Particulars of PoliticsThe Character of EvidenceSpecial DistrictsMunicipalitiesConclusion3. Making Sense of the HistoryEarly U. S. FormationsThe Nineteenth CenturyThe Emergence of ServicesRedefining CitiesEarly Twentieth Century DistrictsMore Established EntrepreneursCities and Racial DivisionConclusion4. Elements of Collective ActionComplicating the ArgumentMeasurementThe Sample and the ModelConclusionAppendix: Measurement and the Model5. Creating Local PoliticsServices and TaxesRaceMunicipalitiesThe Legal Structures of SupplySmall Groups, Entrepreneurs, and the Enabling of Collective Action6. The Meaning of LimitsEmpirical ResultsImplicationsAppendix A: Coefficient Estimates and Robust Standard ErrorsAppendix B: The SampleBibliography

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