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The Nature of Metropolitan Governance in Urban America: A Study of Cooperation, Conflict, and Avoidance in the Kansas City Region

Curtis H. Wood, Northern Illinois University


This paper was presented at the Creating Collaborative Communities Conference held at Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, October 31-November 1, 2005.


In this study I determine the dominant pattern of governance in the Kansas City metro based on interviews with 46 city administrative officers in cities over 2,500 in population. Consistent with theories of cooperation, I found that the dominant governance strategy is intergovernmental cooperation in the delivery of public services punctuated by conflict and avoidance/defection when intergovernmental service delivery arrangements involve infrequent interaction between the parties and when the presence and influence of the regional council of government is minimal.