Governing Delaware: Policy Problems in the First State

Governing Delaware: Policy Problems in the First State

Governing Delaware: Policy Problems in the First State

Governing Delaware: Policy Problems in the First State


"Governing Delaware is an analysis of the governance of Delaware that focuses on the political culture and public policy problems of this small state." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved


For a number of years, I looked forward to writing a book on the governance of Delaware, that would focus on the public policy problems of this small state in the 1990s as it prepared for entry into the twenty-first century. By “governance,” I mean the interaction between government and “nongovernments” (exercisers of “power” and influence outside of government) in the process of governing. By “power,” I mean the capacity to allocate resources.

This book is a result of thirty years of observation as a political scientist in Delaware—a contemporary analysis, but also a synthesis of what I have learned. I wanted to write a comprehensive and penetrating policy analysis, such as had not been written about any other state. Delaware could serve as a microcosm of the nation in the last years of the twentieth century, in the sense that many of Delaware’s problems are also major problems in other states, the nation, and indeed the world. For example, urban sprawl, pollution, and health are growing problems everywhere. Extensive analysis of these and other quality-of-life problems in one small state could highlight public agenda challenges facing the nation as a whole. Delaware, of course, is unique and has some problems peculiarly its own.

One bent on writing a serious comprehensive study of Delaware public affairs is faced with a number of difficulties. Foremost is the fact that no similar Delaware study exists. the 1976 book—Government of Delaware—authored by my esteemed political science colleagues Professors Paul Dolan and James Soles remains a singular institutional approach to understanding the structure and functions of Delaware government. My book represents a corresponding but different approach that focuses on the policy problems of “governance” in Delaware in the 1990s, reflecting a critical perspective on governing and social policy by looking at quality-of-life and viability indicators primarily at the state level. I hasten to add, however, that the selection and evaluation of these policy problems are a function of my own point of view alone.

Secondly, Delaware’s small size helps explain the paucity of related research. Unlike those in larger, more populous states with multiple and more highly differentiated media and policy study institutions, which serve to enrich policy studies . . .

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