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date: 06 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Local governments frequently network with other local governments or other entities for efficient or effective delivery of local services. Networks enable local governments to discover ways to address externalities and diseconomies of scale produced by political fragmentation, functional interconnection, and uneven distribution of knowledge and resources. Local government networking can be informal or formal and bilateral or multilateral, in the form of deliberative forums or mutual aid agreements. This chapter uses the institutional collective action framework to underscore the link between problems of coordination and credibility of commitment that local governments face as they seek self-organizing solutions and the bridging and bonding networks they create in response to these problems. It then reviews the current state of scholarship in local government networks (LGNs) and shows that much progress has been made in both egocentric and whole LGN studies. Finally, it highlights important areas needing attention to advance LGN scholarship.

Keywords: interdependency, local government, governance, institutional collective action, bonding networks, bridging networks, egocentric local government network, whole local government network, local service delivery

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