Governing the Large Metropolis
Territory, Politics, Governance
115 - 134 p.
Governance, Urban, Fragmentation, Public goods, Social choice
Metropolitan governance is shaped by the strong interdependencies within urban areas, combined with the fragmented geography and roles of the agencies that govern them. Fragmentation is not an accident; it responds to underlying differences in the preferences of constituencies, the scale of efficient provision of public goods and regulation, and the bundling of attributes of the city into jurisdictions. This is why governance moves forward in a haphazard way, through tinkering. The analytical framework for understanding metropolitan governance is as a large-scale unfolding principal–agent problem. There is no optimal ‘solution’ to this problem, whether from the standpoint of efficiency, satisfaction, or justice. This paper instead proposes creating a more explicit social choice process around the agencies and instruments of metropolitan governance.