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The purpose of this dissertation is to examine how horizontal and vertical governance structure affects energy and sustainability policymaking at the local level. Although sustainability is an important issue at all levels of government in the American federal system, local governments increasingly play a major role in the development and implementation of policies directed at enhancing environmental outcomes such as energy conservation. Accordingly, sustainability research is beginning to shift more of its attention to municipalities, developing a framework for understanding global climate change as a local issue, and examining the influence and corresponding effects local institutions have in the implementation of sustainability policies. However, previous studies tend to overlook the importance and impact of intergovernmental relations on urban sustainability outcomes. The dissertation particularly analyzes how the relations between local and higher-level governments influence local institutional structures in addressing energy conservation and climate change concerns, as well as "green" energy policy outcomes at the local level. This research advances our theoretical understanding of interlocal collaboration and the impact of federal grant programs on local implementation efforts. This dissertation contains three essays. The first essay examines how state laws and institutions influence interlocal collaboration. The second essay analyzes how federal rules and regulations affect local governmental decisions to engage in collective action. Finally, the third essay determines the direct impact of a federal grant program on local green policy outcomes.
Climate change protection policy, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, Federalism, Intergovernmental Relations, Interlocal Collaboration
Date of Defense
November 4, 2014.
A Dissertation submitted to Reubin O'D. Askew School of Public Administration and Policy in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Richard C. Feiock, Professor Directing Dissertation; Tingting Zhao, University Representative; Kaifeng Yang, Committee Member; Keon-Hyung Lee, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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