Conducting Research on Counties in the 21st Century: A New Agenda and Database Considerations

Authors

  • J. Edwin Benton,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of South Florida
      J. Edwin Benton is a professor of political science and public administration at the University of South Florida. He is the author of Counties as Service Delivery Agents: Changing Expectations and Roles (Praeger, 2002) and the editor of Government and Politics in Florida, 3rd edition (University Press of Florida, 2007). His current research focuses on county and municipal revenue trends and governance and service delivery in metropolitan service districts.
      E-mail: jbenton@chuma.cas.usf.edu
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  • Jacqueline Byers,

    Corresponding author
    1. National Association of Counties
      Jacqueline Byers is director of research for the National Association of Counties. Previously, she was assistant director of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, where she directed the Research Center.
      E-mail: jbyers@naco.org
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  • Beverly A. Cigler,

    Corresponding author
    1. Pennsylvania State University–Harrisburg
      Beverly A. Cigler is a professor of public policy and administration at Penn State Harrisburg and a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. Her key interests are intergovernmental relations, fiscal policy, counties, and emergency management.
      E-mail: bac8@psu.edu
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  • Kenneth A. Klase,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of North Carolina–Greensboro
      Kenneth A. Klase is an associate professor of political science at the University of North Carolina–Greensboro, where he is also the director of the master of public administration program. His teaching and research interests include public budgeting and finance and public financial management. His recent research has focused on budget execution, performance budgeting, fiscal stress, and cutback management in state and local governments.
      E-mail: kaklase@encg.edu
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  • Donald C. Menzel,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of South Florida–Sarasota/Manatee
      Donald C. Menzel is professor emeritus at Northern Illinois University and was president of the American Society for Public Administration in 2005–6. He is the author of Ethics Management for Public Administrators: Building Organizations of Integrity (M. E. Sharpe, 2007).
      E-mail: donmenzel@tampabay.rr.com
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  • Tanis J. Salant,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Arizona
      Tanis J. Salant was the founder and director of the Institute for Local Government at the University of Arizona. She is the principal investigator in school of public administration and policy for a study of the costs of illegal immigration in border counties, and she teaches local government in the master of public administration program.
      E-mail: tjs@u.arizona.edu
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  • Gregory Streib,

    Corresponding author
    1. Georgia State University
      Gregory Streib is a professor of public administration in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies and serves as chair of the Department of Public Administration and Urban Studies. His research centers on local government management and improving government performance.
      E-mail: gstreib@gsu.edu
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  • James H. Svara,

    Corresponding author
    1. Arizona State University
      James H. Svara is a professor in the School of Public Affairs and director of the Center for Urban Innovation at Arizona State University. He recently published The Ethics Primer for Public Administrators in Government and Nonprofit Organizations (Jones & Bartlett, 2007) and edited a special issue of the International Journal of Public Administration on political-administrative relations (Fall 2006).
      E-mail: james.svara@asu.edu
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  • William L. Waugh Jr.

    Corresponding author
    1. Georgia State University
      William L. Waugh, Jr. is a professor of public administration in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University and has written on terrorism, emergency management, and state and local tax policies. He is a specialist on building local capacities to manage hazards and deal with disasters and on intergovernmental, interorganizational, and intersector coordination and cooperation.
      E-mail: wwaugh@gsu.edu
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J. Edwin Benton is a professor of political science and public administration at the University of South Florida. He is the author of Counties as Service Delivery Agents: Changing Expectations and Roles (Praeger, 2002) and the editor of Government and Politics in Florida, 3rd edition (University Press of Florida, 2007). His current research focuses on county and municipal revenue trends and governance and service delivery in metropolitan service districts.
E-mail: jbenton@chuma.cas.usf.edu

Jacqueline Byers is director of research for the National Association of Counties. Previously, she was assistant director of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, where she directed the Research Center.
E-mail: jbyers@naco.org

Beverly A. Cigler is a professor of public policy and administration at Penn State Harrisburg and a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. Her key interests are intergovernmental relations, fiscal policy, counties, and emergency management.
E-mail: bac8@psu.edu

Kenneth A. Klase is an associate professor of political science at the University of North Carolina–Greensboro, where he is also the director of the master of public administration program. His teaching and research interests include public budgeting and finance and public financial management. His recent research has focused on budget execution, performance budgeting, fiscal stress, and cutback management in state and local governments.
E-mail: kaklase@encg.edu

Donald C. Menzel is professor emeritus at Northern Illinois University and was president of the American Society for Public Administration in 2005–6. He is the author of Ethics Management for Public Administrators: Building Organizations of Integrity (M. E. Sharpe, 2007).
E-mail: donmenzel@tampabay.rr.com

Tanis J. Salant was the founder and director of the Institute for Local Government at the University of Arizona. She is the principal investigator in school of public administration and policy for a study of the costs of illegal immigration in border counties, and she teaches local government in the master of public administration program.
E-mail: tjs@u.arizona.edu

Gregory Streib is a professor of public administration in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies and serves as chair of the Department of Public Administration and Urban Studies. His research centers on local government management and improving government performance.
E-mail: gstreib@gsu.edu

James H. Svara is a professor in the School of Public Affairs and director of the Center for Urban Innovation at Arizona State University. He recently published The Ethics Primer for Public Administrators in Government and Nonprofit Organizations (Jones & Bartlett, 2007) and edited a special issue of the International Journal of Public Administration on political-administrative relations (Fall 2006).
E-mail: james.svara@asu.edu

William L. Waugh, Jr. is a professor of public administration in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University and has written on terrorism, emergency management, and state and local tax policies. He is a specialist on building local capacities to manage hazards and deal with disasters and on intergovernmental, interorganizational, and intersector coordination and cooperation.
E-mail: wwaugh@gsu.edu

Abstract

Given local, regional, national, and global events of the last few years and the ever-increasing service roles and expectations of county governments, American counties warrant greater scholarly attention. To guide researchers, the research agenda published in this journal 15 years ago has been refined and expanded. This 11-point agenda includes fiscal capacity and responsibility; the role of structure, politics, and political participation; intergovernmental relations and networking; professionalism; service delivery; environmental issues; population changes; managing conflict and promoting integration; terrorism and security; information technology; and economic development. In addition, five database concerns and needs that pose significant challenges to researchers are identified and presented for consideration.

Ancillary