TOWARDS EXPLAINING EXPENDITURE POLICIES OF URBAN POLITICAL SYSTEMS: THE CASE OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT EXPENDITURE PATTERNS

JAMES DALY, Fordham University

Abstract

This thesis attempts to accomplish two major purposes. The first is to test the ability of the group theory/pluralist grounded Process approach and the Unitary model to explain urban policy outcomes. A similar test has not been attempted elsewhere. The second is to provide a sense of the utility and contributions of these two frameworks in a comparative analysis of substantive urban policy outcomes. The study uses the decisional outcomes of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) entitlement programs of 93 larger American cities as the policy to be explained. In order to carry out the empirical analysis, the study resolves issues centering on both the comparability of local units of government and the core differences in the theoretical constructs of the two approaches.^ The study focuses on specifying, through a series of local contextual analyses, the conditions under which the Unitary and Process frameworks may or may not be capable of offering explanations of local decisional outcomes. The local decision-making environment is probed for the effects of local economic growth, minority group influence and the presence of large numbers of poor residents on cities' social service program expenditures.^ The study's findings reveal that neither model, applied to comparative analyses of local CDBG expenditures, can adequately explain these urban policy outcomes. The major suggestions made by the author include differentiating between the public and private economy of cities when measuring the effects of local fiscal health on city policy discretion. In addition, based on this study's findings, Political Scientists may have to rethink the concept that redistributive or social service policy outcomes most directly benefit the poor and needy. This thesis has revealed that, under certain conditions, redistributive policies may be necessary to compensate for a slack in private sector resources. In that light, then redistribution is necessary as a compensatory developmental need of social infrastructure maintenance, an important ingredient for the maintenance of economic, political and social stability in our cities. ^

Subject Area

Political science

Recommended Citation

DALY, JAMES, "TOWARDS EXPLAINING EXPENDITURE POLICIES OF URBAN POLITICAL SYSTEMS: THE CASE OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT EXPENDITURE PATTERNS" (1983). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8326685.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8326685

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