Between State and Nation: Regional Organizations of the United States

Between State and Nation: Regional Organizations of the United States

Between State and Nation: Regional Organizations of the United States

Between State and Nation: Regional Organizations of the United States

Excerpt

REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS, units with jurisdictions encompassing several states, are an invention designed to improve the working of the American federal system. The Tennessee Valley Authority is the oldest and much the best known of such organizations, but there are many others, most of which were set up in the 1960s to plan and coordinate the economic development of depressed areas, such as Appalachia, or to coordinate planning for the development of river basins.

Despite their diverse forms and increased numbers, regional organizations in the United States remain experiments. They may help to resolve interstate conflicts or promote interstate cooperation. They may enable the federal government, a group of states, or the federal government and the states together to pursue public purposes for homogeneous areas that do not conform to established jurisdictions. They may also be a means of decentralizing federal administrative activities and improving coordination of such activities. How well regional organizations serve these objectives, how they may be improved, and whether to extend them are at issue.

This study classifies and compares various kinds of regional organizations and evaluates their effectiveness. It seeks to judge from their performance whether regional organizations should be established across the nation or whether regional activity should continue to be organized, as in the past, on an ad hoc basis, function by function and region by region.

The author, Martha Derthick, is a senior fellow in the Govern-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.