Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=905840
 
 

Citations (4)



 
 

Footnotes (138)



 


 



Can Strong Mayors Empower Weak Cities? On the Power of Local Executives in a Federal System


Richard Schragger


University of Virginia School of Law


Yale Law Journal, Vol. 116, 2006

Abstract:     
This Paper considers the historic weakness of the American mayoralty and recent reform efforts designed to strengthen it. The mayoralty's weakness has two grounds. First, the office's lack of power is a product of elite skepticism of urban democracy. That skepticism manifested itself in Progressive-era reforms that almost entirely eliminated the mayor's office in favor of a city council and professional city manager; the mayoralty continues to be a ceremonial office in most small and medium-sized cities. Second, the mayoralty's weakness is a result of a federal system that devalues city — and by extension, mayoral — power. American-style federalism privileges regional governments rather than local ones: states, not cities, are the salient sites for constitutionally-protected "local" governance. This structural fact has political consequences: The city's limited capacity to make effective policy reinforces the parochialism of its leaders; their parochialism, in turn, reinforces the city's subordinate status. The challenge for urban reformers is to alter this "constitutional" weakness of the mayoralty. I argue that the strong mayoralty is a potential instrument for democratic self-government to the extent that it is able to amass power on behalf of the city.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 39

Keywords: cities, mayors, federalism, executive, municipal, strong mayor, mayor-council, council-manager, local government

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: June 2, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Schragger, Richard, Can Strong Mayors Empower Weak Cities? On the Power of Local Executives in a Federal System. Yale Law Journal, Vol. 116, 2006. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=905840

Contact Information

Richard Schragger (Contact Author)
University of Virginia School of Law ( email )
580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 669
Downloads: 127
Download Rank: 130,257
Citations:  4
Footnotes:  138

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo3 in 0.531 seconds