Although local governments are well poised to address complex environmental policy problems, balancing local and supra-local politics is a key obstacle to overcome. The authors argue that when making policy choices, local policymakers balance local and supra-local influences by exploiting uncertainty in policy goals and associated target populations. Using probit models and survey data of city and county agencies, the authors examine how local and supra-local politics influence local policy choices. Four scenarios are identified: (a) pollution prevention and regional cooperation initiatives affected by local politics, (b) outreach initiatives affected by supra-local politics, (c) transportation alternative initiatives affected by both local and supra-local politics, and (d) energy alternatives and smart growth initiatives affected by interactions between local and supra-local politics. The conclusions suggest ambiguity frames environmental policies, which is to local policymakers’ advantage when balancing contentious multilevel politics.
Fowler, L. & Rabinowitz, G. "Balancing Multilevel Politics in Local Environmental Policy Choices", Public Works Management & Policy, 25(1), pp. 75-97. Copyright © 2020, SAGE. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications. Doi: 10.1177/1087724X19834563
Fowler, Luke and Rabinowitz, Geoffrey. (2020). "Balancing Multi-Level Politics in Local Environmental Policy Choices". Public Works Management & Policy, 25(1), 75-97. https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1087724X19834563