For more than twenty years, urban scholars have debated whether economic determinism and its fiscal implications trump municipal political action in local government policy choices. In a very real sense, the debate is about whether local politics matters. Somewhat lost in this discussion, although not entirely, is an issue that was once at the forefront of urban scholarship: the role of institutional structures. With the maturing theoretical interest in the new institutionalism, the time is ripe to revisit this area and determine whether institutional structures matter. According to James Clingermayer and Richard Feiock, they do.
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