Book Project “Polycentricity and The Organization of Sustainable Metropolitan Governance”
Abstract: The modern American urban environment has undergone rapid transformation over the past two decades as central city populations have once again increased and green rooftops have begun appearing on skylines large and small. Legacy environmental dilemmas that long dominated policy discussions of central cities, like brownfield contamination and blight, among others, increasingly face competition with refocused environmental dilemmas, like stormwater management and food desserts, for scarce policy resources and attention. This book project develops a theoretical framework for exploring the political-economy of modern urban environmental dilemmas to better understand why some environmental dilemmas dominate local policy agendas and other local environmental dilemmas are pushed off onto higher-level political jurisdictions or neglected altogether (and, similarly, to understand why some cities enact costly policies to mitigate national or global environmental dilemmas). I do so through the lens of institutional economics and polycentrism. The first few chapters develop the theoretical underpinnings of the analysis by modeling the production and provision of environmental goods and services through the alternative mechanisms of markets, governments, and voluntary associations, respectively. Empirical chapters then apply and test the theoretical framework by exploring in-depth studies of the emergence of green infrastructure to solve stormwater dilemmas and local responses to climate change, among others.
Working Papers/Ongoing Research Holahan, Robert. Federal rules and municipal actions: The Challenge of stormwater management. (Working paper available)
Arnold, Gwen, and Robert Holahan. A theory of excludability and rivalry in determining the nature of environmental goods. (Working paper available)
Holahan, Robert, and Prakash Kashwan. Climate geoengineering and the public good? Disentangling the nature of goods from the nature of rhetoric. (Working paper available)
Holahan, Robert. Embedded wealth, property rights, and the American frontier. (Ongoing data collection)
Holahan, Robert. Old, but not forgotten: The strategic presidential use of the Antiquities Act. (Ongoing data collection)