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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Toward a Typology of Regional Leadership Institutions: Examples from the San Francisco Bay Area


The call to regionalize economic, social or environmental policy is heard in many areas throughout the world because existing local institutions are often unable to manage regional problems efficiently. Regionalization of policy introduces new institutions at the regional level. These institutions differ, acting as advocacy groups, regional governance institutions, and regional leadership institutions. Most regions which heed the call of regionalization create regional leadership institutions.

Conducting case studies in the Bay Area, whose problems mirror those of nearly all US metropolitan areas, the author provides a systematic overview of regional leadership institutions and presents two main points of focus: (1) how a region's actors organize the process of regional decision-making and address regional problems; and (2) understanding the activities and goals of regional leadership institutions and finding out if the groups they target are benefitting from the activities. In addition, the author provides an in-depth look at six examples of regional institutions in the Bay Area that broadly address regional economic, social or environmental issues, characterizing them by their aims and structure as well as by the projects they have undertaken.

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