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Written by two of the most prominent political scientists working in the field of local governmental theory and practice, this text offers explanations of a wide range of common governmental practices, and examines the nature of and issues relating to metropolitan government in the United States from several theoretical perspectives. Each approach is illustrated by concrete examples which highlight both its strengths and weaknesses. Particular emphasis is focused on suburban and African American resistance to metropolital governance and reform efforts, as well as on the problems of metropolitan governance during an era of decreasing federal funds and increasing local demands regarding quality-of=life issues. The authors also propose a new model for the future of governmental structure and governance in America's metropolitan areas.