Bulletin n. 1/2017
June 2017
  • Section A) The theory and practise of the federal states and multi-level systems of government
  • Section B) Global governance and international organizations
  • Section C) Regional integration processes
  • Section D) Federalism as a political idea
  • Boschken Herman L.
    Aligning a Multi-Government Network With Situational Context Metropolitan Governance as an Organizational Systems Problem
    in American Review of Public Administration (The) , Volume 47, Issue 2, February 2017 ,  2017 ,  189–208
    The governance of major metropolitan areas is often associated with a “fragmented” and “uncoordinated” multi-government apparatus, frequently sculpted from years of particularistic ad hoc administrative reforms. This image of dysfunctional structure gains high salience when the metropolitan context is accentuated by complexity and fluidity, especially where intense paradoxical forces of economic development and ecological sustainability are present. The most visible “solutions” for such a state often come from bureaucrats seeking to “streamline” government according to norms of standardization and hierarchy. But, calls for reform may also come from scholars of polycentric government, who see the problem as a misalignment of administrative structure with the metropolitan context. This article adopts the latter, less-appreciated perspective that argues such dysfunctions in a metropolitan multi-government network are essentially problems of adaptive organizational design. Different than the bureaucratic model, treatises on new public management or group-behavior theory, it emphasizes the contextual nature of public administration by employing the holistic framework of “organizational systems.” It illustrates the logic by introducing a toolbox for multi-government design that speaks to the adaptive qualities of government networks in whole metropolitan areas. Its purpose is to reinvigorate this holistic approach in thinking about the way we look at multi-government networks in major metropolitan areas.
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