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The Governance Effects of Metropolitan Reform: A Theoretical Inquiry

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Oakerson, Ronald J.
Conference: Decentralized Government: The Implications of Government Organization in Metropolitan Areas, De Voe Moore Center Critical Issues Symposium
Location: Tallahasse, FL
Conf. Date: October 4-5
Date: 2002
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/8095
Sector: Social Organization
Urban Commons
Region: North America
Subject(s): citizen participatory management
Tocqueville, Alexis de
governance and politics
institutional analysis
public goods and bads
Abstract: "What impressed Tocqueville was not only the extent of citizen participation but also its focus on the common good, what traditional republicans called res publica--the set of all things shared in common by a community. Tocqueville cited schools, churches, and roads--but the set is much larger, and it has grown larger over the years. It includes not only tangibles but also intangibles, such as the peace of the community, the control of crime, and community prosperity. It has both local and national dimensions. Caring for res publica in its local dimensions is no trivial undertaking--not even in 2002. It is the focus of a great deal of human effort precisely because it contributes so much to human well-being and its neglect is so destructive of community life. Res publica can be viewed as the local commons writ large. A voluminous literature now suggests just how problematic governing the local commons can be, although its challenges can be effectively addressed by appropriately constituted local communities."

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