Local Government and the States : Autonomy, Politics, and Policy book cover
2nd Edition

Local Government and the States
Autonomy, Politics, and Policy

ISBN 9781138580923
Published August 6, 2019 by Routledge
214 Pages

SAVE ~ $8.99
was $44.95
USD $35.96

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This book offers an overview of the legal, political, and broad intergovernmental environment in which relations between local and state units of government take place, the historical roots of the conflict among them, and an analysis of contemporary problems concerning local authority, local revenues, state interventions and takeovers, and the restructuring of local governments. The author pays special attention to local governmental autonomy and the goals and activities of local officials as they seek to secure resources, fend off regulations and interventions, and fight for survival as independent units.

Now, in a thoroughly revised second edition, this book examines marijuana use, minimum wages, the establishment of sanctuary cities, and the regulation of ride-sharing companies. Looking at the intergovernmental struggle from the bottom up, and in the process examining a variety of political activities and policies at the state level, Berman finds considerable reason to be concerned about the viability and future of meaningful local government. This book improves our understanding of the relationship between state and local governments. It provides a thoughtful look at the past, present, and possibly the future of local home rule.

Table of Contents

List of Tables


Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Federal, State, and Local Relations

Chapter 3: Localities in State Politics

Chapter 4: Cities and the States: The Historical Perspective

Chapter 5: The Authority Problem

Chapter 6: The Revenue Problem

Chapter 7: The Takeover Problem

Chapter 8: The Restructuring Problem

Chapter 9: Concluding Note

Appendix A: State and Local Revenues, Selected Years, 1902-1999

Appendix B: State Aid to Local Governments, Selected Years, 1902-1998




View More



David R. Berman is Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Senior Research Fellow of the Morrison Institute at Arizona State University, USA.


This book is a major and comprehensive contribution to our understanding of local-state relations in the United States, especially in this polarized era when many blue cities feel abused by their red-state parents. Berman illuminates important contemporary issues, such as state takeovers of local governments and state pre-emptions of local policies, and offers current insights into perennial issues such as Dillon’s Rule versus home rule, central cities versus suburbs, and metropolitan consolidation versus metropolitan pluralism.

John Kincaid, Lafayette College, USA.

The second edition of the Berman book represents a welcomed addition to the rapidly growing scholarship dedicated to the continually evolving relationship between local governments and their states. Understanding the sometimes-complicated relationship that exists between these two governmental entities and how it affects governance and service delivery is not only important for those of us who study state-local relations, but also for those government officials who are at the forefront of this nexus.

J. Edwin Benton, University of South Florida, USA

David Berman’s analysis of U.S. local/state governance is rich, nuanced, well written scholarship; particularly timely in this era of political polarization and high uncertainty about institutional power at all levels of IGR. 

John Stuart Hall, Arizona State University, USA