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Does Local Government Matter?How Urban Policies Shape Civic Engagement$
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Elaine B. Sharp

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816677085

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816677085.001.0001

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City Government and Neighborhoods

City Government and Neighborhoods

Intentional Empowerment and Reactionary Mobilization

(p.53) 2 City Government and Neighborhoods
Does Local Government Matter?

Elaine B. Sharp

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter assesses the impact of city government actions on participation in neighborhood associations. It examines both cities with formal systems for involving neighborhood residents in governance activities and cities that do not. It also provides a broad basis for gauging city government responsiveness to neighborhood concerns and the potential empowerment impacts of such responsiveness, even in places without formal programs for neighborhood-based participation. The chapter yields a surprising and counterintuitive finding about the link between city government responsiveness to neighborhoods and levels of neighborhood activism—a finding that underscores the need to modify policy-centered theory when neighborhood groups rather than individuals are the program “clients”.

Keywords:   local government, political participation, neighborhood associations, policy-centered theory

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