State and Local Government and Public-Private Partnerships: A Policy Issues Handbook

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No student of state and local government is more knowledgeable than Colman, so this substantial book is a welcome contribution...strongly recommended for all college and university libraries. Choice State and local governments already bear, or are increasingly assuming, the primary legal, political, and fiscal responsibility for policy and program areas in which the highest degree of institutional capacity, commitment, competence, and integrity are essential. Among the issue areas that confront these governments over the coming decade are: the changing American economy and the requisite retraining of the labor force, poverty and the growing urban underclass, health care and services, day care, transportation and other physical infrastructure needs, housing, and regulatory and legal systems. Colman examines the present legal, structural, financial, and political underpinnings of those policy areas of domestic government that nationally appear most critical. He describes the current and emerging agenda of state and local governments and of the growing number of private profit and not-for-profit organizations that are assuming ever-widening responsibility for leadership and performance in state and local affairs. Contrasts are drawn to major changes in the nature, resources, and commitment of national, state and local governments and associated private performers in these crucial areas since the mid-1970s. Demography, labor force, and other socioeconomic data provide quantitative bases for comparison. In ensuing qualitative analyses, two or more sides of the major issues in each of the policy areas are presented, along with evaluations of past and potential state and local government and collaborative private sector responses. Because it provides new information and perspectives on emerging power centers in American domestic governance, this unique reference will be important reading for those occupied or interested in state and local government; intergovernmental and public-private sector relationships; public administration and finance; and urban studies. Public officials and private sector leaders concerned with state, local, and community affairs, as well as research organizations in these fields should find a place for it on their desks or in their libraries.