Author Q&A Session: David K. Hamilton

Author of Governing Metropolitan Areas, David K. Hamilton, discusses his title and what attracted him to this topic as an area of study.

Author Interview | David K. Hamilton

1. What is new to the 2nd edition?
This second edition is a major revision to update the scholarship andcurrent research on regional governance. While the text still providesbackground on the historical development and growth of urban areas andgovernments’ efforts through boundary change and tiered government to accommodate the growth of metropolitan areas, this edition has expanded coverage analyzing the provision of regional governance through cooperative and collaborative solutions. There is also extended treatment of regionalism outside the United States and how other countries are approaching regional governance.

2. Who is your intended audience for this book and how have you met the needs of this market?This book is intended as a textbook for upper division undergraduate and graduate level courses. It is an introduction into the topic of regional governance in metropolitan areas. It would also be of interest to the public and practitioners engaged in governance issues in metropolitan areas.

3. Tell us about some of the case studies in your book and what makes them valuable?
Practically every chapter has case studies and a takeaway section that illustrate the concepts covered in the chapter to enhance understanding. For example, in a chapter that covers special districts, there is a discussion of special districts in one California county and how they interact and affect governance in the county.

4. What will student and lecturers be able to take away from you book?
Governing Metropolitan Areas describes and analyzes structure to understand the “how” and “why” of regionalism in our global age. The book covers governmental institutions and their evolution to the concept of governance, but with a continual focus on institutions. The book provides a comprehensive, in-depth description and analysis of how metropolitan areas and governments within metropolitan areas developed, efforts to restructure and combine local governments, and the latest collaborative and cooperative direction of governance within polycentric urban areas.

5. What makes your book so unique to others in the field?
Few books provide a comprehensive treatment of regional government and governance. This book provides that comprehensive treatment using an institutional approach so that readers can see how government and governance evolved and policy issues in governing polycentric metropolitan areas.

6. What findings in writing/researching the book surprised you?
An interesting finding is how governing metropolitan areas has evolved from efforts to reform and change structure to accommodate growth to the movement to cooperative and collaborative governance without trying to reform structure. This phenomenon was evident not only in the United States, where one might expect it, but in other countries, where the focus had been on structural reform.