City-country consolidation builds upon the Progressive tradition of favoring structural reform of local governments. This volume looks at some important issues confronting contemporary efforts to consolidate governments and develops a theoretical approach to understanding both the motivations for pursuing consolidation and the way the rules guiding the process shape the outcome. Individual chapters consider the push for city-county consolidation and the current context in which such decisions are debated, along with several alternatives to city-county consolidation. The transaction costs of city-county consolidation are compared against the costs of municipal annexation, inter-local agreements, and the use of special district governments to achieve the desired consolidation of services. The final chapters compare competing perspectives for and against consolidation and put together some of the pieces of an explanatory theory of local government consolidation.
Part I: Consolidation and Progressive Reform; 1. Perspectives on City-County Consolidation and Its Alternatives, Jered B. Carr and Richard C. Feiock; 2. Consolidation as a Local Government Reform: Why City-County Consolidation Is an Enduring Issue, Suzanne M. Leland and Gary A. Johnson; 3. Do Consolidation Entrepreneurs Make a Deal with the Devil? Richard C. Feiock; Part II: Consolidation and Its Alternatives; 4. Issues of Scale and Transaction Costs in City-County Consolidation, Allen B. Brierly; 5. Annexation as a Form of Consolidation: An Analysis of Central Core City Boundary Expansion in the United States During the Twentieth Century, Allen B. Brierly; 6. Interlocal Agreements as an Alternative to Consolidation, Kurt Thurmaier and Curtis Wood; 7. Special Districts: An Alternative to Consolidation, Barbara Coyle McCabe; Part III: The Politics of City-County Consolidation; 8. Revolutionary Local Constitutional Change: A Theory of the Consolidation Process, Linda S. Johnson; 9. The Politics of City-County Consolidation: Findings from a National Survey, Jered B. Carr, Richard C. Feiock, and Bethany G. Sneed; 10. Local Government Amalgamation from the Top-Down, Raymond A. Rosenfeld and Laura A. Reese; 11. Making the Case for (and Against) City-County Consolidation: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis, Linda S. Johnson and Jered B. Carr; 12. Institutional Choice, Collective Action, and Governance, Richard C. Feiock and Jered B. Carr