Creative Regionalism: Governance for Stressful Times

Source: Bruce J. Perlman and James Jimenez, State and Local Government Review, Vol. 42 no. 2, August 2010
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Most public problems that state and local governments tackle are addressed effectively within their particular jurisdiction. In such cases, the benefits from addressing them usually are confined to the citizens living within the government’s limits. For example, waste disposal is handled by picking up trash at citizens’ homes or by giving them a specific site to deposit it, both within a discrete jurisdiction. Likewise, educational, community, and recreational benefits can be restricted to the citizens of a particular jurisdiction by requiring proof of residence within it. Similarly, when state and local governments aim to reduce harms, their jurisdiction for and delivery of public safety and security services is limited to a specific area, not withstanding public safety boundary problems, such as hot pursuit or threats from adjacent jurisdictions (these can be handled though internal practices, such as standard operating procedures or bilateral agreements like memoranda of understanding). Although these examples do admit of ”spillover effects” or externalities affecting or affected by other jurisdictions, the direct benefits provided are limited to those governed by a single, limited jurisdiction. In short, the delivery of these services in an effective way is not dependent on or limited by cooperation with other locales.

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