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The topic of municipal incorporation is increasingly reemerging as a topic dissevering of our attention. Metropolitan regions continue to grow and residents maintain a desire to live beyond the cities' borders. As these processes continue, we must recognize that individuals will seek to create new municipal governments that fulfill the wishes they hold for the new communities. Theories of incorporation rests on a great deal of theorizing, but have not been the subject of numerous attempts to empirically test these theories. One treatment, however, that involved extensive testing of theories of incorporation was provided by Burns (1994). While Burns' work has received a great deal of recognition, the work displays significant flaws which limit the conclusions that can be drawn from the findings presented by Burns. These shortcomings are taken as an opportunity to recast the research approach taken when investigating this topic. I argue that qualitative research methods offer the best mechanism to uncover the true meaning of incorporation. I use these methods to conduct several interviews with participants of an on-going incorporation effort. These interviews highlight two facts. First, people behave based on value rationality, rather than instrumental rationality. Second, people will support incorporation when they spend less time outside the community. The implications of these findings for the literature are discussed.
Municipal Government, Unincorporated Communities, Incorporation
Date of Defense
June 9, 2008.
A Dissertation Submitted to the Ruebin 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.
Florida State University
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