Category Archives: Intergovernmental Relations

Our Fractured Fiscal System

Source: Carl Tubbesing and Vic Miller, State Legislatures, Vol. 33 no. 4, April 2007
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Fiscal relations between the states and federal government may be at an all-time low.

For two decades, unfunded federal mandates have symbolized the growing fracture in state-federal fiscal relations. Most legislators can readily name the current offenders—the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, No Child Left Behind, the Help America Vote Act and homeland security. And they are girding for the possibility of the next huge one, the Real ID act. The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that the federal government has shifted $100 billion in costs to states over the past four fiscal years—not including the $11 billion that Real ID could cost states over the next five years

Conclusion: Parallel Play, Not Collaboration: Missing Questions, Missing Connections

Source: Lisa Blomgren Bingham and Rosemary O’Leary, Public Administration Review, December 2006, Vol. 66 supplement

In their coda to this special issue of PAR, Lisa Blomgren Bingham and Rosemary O’Leary employ an intriguing scholarly lens to analyze gaps in current collaborative management research based on the findings of scholarly papers in this symposium. While pointing out the tremendous intellectual progress that is apparent in these investigations of this seminal topic, the authors conclude that there is a missing synthesis between work on collaborative public management, civic engagement, and public participation and work on negotiation, conflict resolution, dispute system design, and consensus building. The authors challenge the field to end the practice of intellectual “parallel play.”

Inside Collaborative Networks: Ten Lessons for Public Managers

Source: Robert Agranoff, Public Administration Review, December 2006, Vol. 66 supplement

Based on extensive empirical research with federal, state and local government managers who work within intergovernmental collaborative networks, this article suggests new ways in which public agencies can overcome nettlesome policy conundrums while advancing the public interest. Although networks may differ significantly from organization to organization, the author emphasizes that the “era of networks” is a modern-day administrative reality that requires effective management, much like any other organizational structure.

This paper offers practical insights for public managers as they work within interorganizational networks. It is based on the author’s empirical study of 14 networks involving federal, state, and local government managers working with nongovernmental organizations. The findings suggest that networks are hardly crowding out the role of public agencies; though they are limited in their decision scope, they can add collaborative public value when approaching nettlesome policy and program problems.