Local Government Decision Making


Author/Creator ORCID




School of Public Policy


Public Policy

Citation of Original Publication


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Most of the theoretical foundations related to the public policy process and public policy decision-making are rooted in the experiences and processes within the federal government. While some theorizing is based on state-level systems, there has been little to no theorizing based on local governmental structures. This three-paper dissertations aims to add evidence, information, and context to the literature on the public policy and decision-making process of local governments. Through a systematic literature review using the Cochrane-Campbell procedure, Understanding Local Government: A Systematic Review of Political Decision-Making distills the published research on political decision-making of local governments to create a more unified understanding of the factors influencing local governmental policy action in the United States. In addition, this paper provides an analysis of the application of these themes to common theoretical public policy frameworks and models, creating a new theoretical model to define and predict local government policy action�the Municipal Action Framework. Utilizing an autoethnographic methodology, The Heavy Weight of Policy Inaction: An Autoethnographic Analysis of a Lead Hazards Ordinance provides a first-hand account of attempted policy action at the local level. Through the personal experiences of the author, this paper retells the events and circumstances creating both a hospitable, and eventually unhospitable, policy environment for momentous policy change. Through this writing, this paper applies the theoretical model of the Municipal Action Framework to better understand its applicability and practicality. Through quantitative methodologies, Showing Up: An Analysis of Uncontested and Write-In-Only Elections on Local Policy Action seeks to understand the policymaking implications of uncontested, write-in-only, and write-in winner elections for either executive or legislative seats within small local governments in York County, Pennsylvania. Findings suggest that winners of uncontested elections may increase the likelihood of policy actions, while winners of write-in-only elections have a decreased or null-level effect.