Comparative Metropolitan Policy
Governing Beyond Local Boundaries in the Imagined Metropolis
By Jen Nelles
Routledge – 2012 – 218 pages
How are metropolitan regions governed? What makes some regions more effective than others in managing policies that cross local jurisdictional boundaries? Political coordination among municipal governments is necessary to attract investment, rapid and efficient public transit systems, and to sustain cultural infrastructure in metropolitan regions. In this era of fragmented authority, local governments alone rarely possess the capacity to address these policy issues alone.
This book explores the sources and barriers to cooperation and metropolitan policy making. It combines different streams of scholarship on regional governance to explain how and why metropolitan partnerships emerge and flourish in some places and fail to in others. It systematically tests this theory in the Frankfurt and Rhein-Neckar regions of Germany and the Toronto and Waterloo regions in Canada. Discovering that existing theories of metropolitan collective action based on institutions and opportunities are inconsistent, the author proposes a new theory of "civic capital", which argues that civic engagement and leadership at the regional scale can be important catalysts to metropolitan cooperation. The extent to which the actors hold a shared image of the metropolis and engage at that scale strongly influences the degree to which local authorities will be willing and able to coordinate policies for the collective development of the region.
Metropolitan Governance and Policy will be of interest to students and scholars of comparative urban and metropolitan governance and sociology.
1. Cooperation and Governance in City-Regions 2. Towards a Theoretical Framework of Intermunicipal Cooperation 3. Civic Capital 4. Frankfurt Rhein Main: A Region in Search of an Identity 5. Rhein Neckar: A Region Build from Below 6. Toronto: Strong City, Weak Region 7. Waterloo: Forging a Culture of Cooperation 8. Catalyzing Cooperation: The Best of Two Worlds
Jen Nelles is a Postdoctoral Fellow at CEPS/INTEAD (Luxembourg) and Research Fellow PROGRIS at the University of Toronto.