New York City Politics: Governing Gotham

By Bruce F. Berg | Go to book overview

10
Conclusion

This final chapter will address three themes related to the governance of New York City. First, it will summarize the impact of the economic growth imperative, federal and state relations with the city, and racial and ethnic diversity on the governance of the city. Second, the prospect that forces, other than the three emphasized in this discussion, are influencing the governance of the city will be examined. And finally, the chapter will discuss the implications for the future of theory and theory-building in the broader study of urban politics.


Governing Gotham

Throughout this work, governance has been defined as three related activities undertaken by political systems: the maintenance of democratic accountability; the maintenance of civil harmony; and the delivery of public goods and services.


Democratic Accountability

Democratic accountability requires a set of accessible procedures linked to the key decision-making apparatus of the political system. It also requires that the citizenry be effectively represented in these procedures, ideally through elections, but also through appointments, dedicated representation structures, or more informal means that guarantee critical groups input into political systems' decision-making. Democratic accountability contributes to the legitimacy of the decisions made by the political system.

Given the importance of economic development to the political system, mayors as chief executives and as chiefs of state are held accountable for the city's economic performance. The mayor has certainly become the most significant actor in the city's promotion of economic growth, but many of his decisions are subject to an open, democratically accountable decision-making process. The promotion of economic development has become so important in the city's

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New York City Politics: Governing Gotham
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • 1: Introduction 1
  • 2: The Economic Development Imperative 20
  • 3: The State and the City 58
  • 4: The Federal Government and the City 88
  • 5: Racial and Ethnic Diversity 120
  • 6: Political Parties in New York City Governance 160
  • 7: The Charter, the Mayor, and the Other Guys 180
  • 8: The City Council 212
  • 9: The Municipal Bureaucracy 244
  • 10: Conclusion 281
  • References 293
  • Index 323
  • About the Author 339
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