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Dividing the Pie: Values, Self-Interest, and New Challenges for Urban Administration in a Fragmented System

PAM, Vol. 12 No. 4, (2007)

A presently-unfolding case study is used to address present and growing challenges facing small to medium-sized cities in non-metropolitan areas. The framework incorporates fragmentation, value conflicts, and annexation to illuminate the struggle such communities face as they balance efficient public service delivery with divisive value conflicts that also drive fragmentation. Also at play is the distinction between self-interest and the public interest as would-be Leviathan governments make decisions in which the trade-offs between both short-term and long-term costs and benefits are not known or understood, and in which existing administrative capacity is inadequate to fill the knowledge gap.

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