This book is an extremely valuable work in the domain of local governance, specifically urban local governance, with reference to ‘metropolitan government’ and its relationship with the larger governmental structures. The context of the book in terms of the country is the United States and the book is authored by two prominent social scientists: G.Ross Stephans, a Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Missouri-Kansas city and Nelson Wikstrom, Professor (and Chair) of Political Science and Public Administration at Virginia Commonwealth University.
The book commences with a very interesting introduction which suddenly transfers the reader to how the concept of ‘metropolis’ came into being, the way urbanization, particularly the dimension of infrastructure development, pushed the concept in the United States in the earlier part of the twentieth century and the evolution of the concept. This is extremely fascinating from the point of view of learning, especially when one is presented with facts that go towards establishing certain common notions already carried by us, but without factual support. For example each of us know that every phase of technological progress increased urbanization, but perhaps not many amongst us know how exactly each such phase specifically impacted the growth of urbanization . The book offers this very critical opportunity of learning such aspects of governance.
The book has adopted a logical approach to dealing with the subject and has been conveniently segmented into nine chapters focusing on different dimensions of metropolitan government and governance to ensure that at the end of the nine chapters the reader is rewarded with a total picture of the complex subject of urban governance and more importantly in a better framework to understand the underlying dynamics specifically with respect to metropolitan government and governance issues.