Governing New York State: The Rockefeller Years

By Robert H. Connery; Gerald Benjamin | Go to book overview

Preface

This volume explores the ways in which the major institutions and processes of the New York State government have operated in the past decade and a half, examines how these have changed, and considers the implications of suggestions for future changes. It also examines New York's role in the intergovernmental system, its relationships with the federal government, with local governments, and with other states. Finally, it assesses the state's recent record in some of the fiscal and substantive policy areas that have been most pressing throughout the 1960s and early 1970s.

Although New York is one of the nation's largest states and experts have acknowledged its leading role as an innovator in the federal system, the state's political processes and public policy performance have not been subject to comprehensive analysis in recent years. Indeed, the politics of the state have received much less scholarly and popular attention than those of its largest city, though, as one contributor to this volume argues, much of what happens in the public sector in New York City is determined, or at least delimited, by decisions made in Albany. Thus, in one sense, this collection is an attempt to redress the imbalance of scholarly attention given to New York. By doing this, it is hoped, the functioning of all levels of government in New York State will become clearer to both students and practitioners.

Although the essays in this volume are about the governance of one state, the collection takes on national significance for several reasons. New York has been and remains a vanguard state. Traditionally, it has been among the first to confront emerging problems, and its solutions have often been emulated by other states. In recent years, the political leadership in New York has taken a major role in attempting to redefine the place of the state in the federal system. Moreover, this volume is the first analysis of the fifteen year gubernatorial record of Nelson A.

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