This article can be found in the current issue of the Journal of Urban Affairs regarding Cities, Networks, and Urban Policy.
This article currently has free access and is available to read and download.
Local politicians’ advice networks and the prospect of metropolitan civil society, by Eric S. Zeemering
Intergovernmental relations among local government officials in U.S. metropolitan areas have been depicted as the foundation for metropolitan governance. Institutions, including councils of government and metropolitan planning organizations, help broker contacts across large metropolitan regions, yet little attention has been given to the actual patterns of intergovernmental communication and advice seeking by elected officials. Using original survey data from the San Francisco Bay Area, this research investigates the structure of local elected officials’ advice networks at the city level. Though both theory and government reform efforts predict an interconnected metropolitan region, elected officials’ advice-seeking patterns are highly constrained by county lines and correlate with partisanship and select demographic variables. If advice networks are a measure of metropolitan governance, then the San Francisco Bay Area may be characterized by polycentric intergovernmental relations rather than dense metropolitan civil society.