First Advisor

Ronald C. Cease

Term of Graduation

Fall 1970

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Political Science


Political Science




Metropolitan government -- United States, Local government -- United States



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 128 pages)


The Council of Governments is a significant new approach to metropolitan cooperation. Of the approximately 150 councils (as of January, 1970), all but 14 have been established since 1965. Councils across the country are characterized by great variety in organization and representation. This paper examines this complexity, particularly in terms of membership, representation and voting.

The first chapter is primarily a short history of the council movement and the forces which have helped to shape its development. The second examines the variety of council functions, organizational structures and financial arrangements.

Chapters III, IV and V are devoted to a detailed study of membership, representation and voting patterns. While the third and fourth chapters are concerned with the general aspects of these patterns, Chapter V examines in detail the arrangements used by twelve specific councils. The effect of the "one man, one vote" concept on councils is discussed in the sixth chapter.

The concluding chapter analyzes the external and internal problems facing councils and their success in meeting these problems. The future development of councils is also explored.

While the future of the councils and the movement may take one of many avenues, including evolution into regional governments, it appears that the likely development will be mixed. Uniformity will continue to be imposed by HUD regulations, but the local councils will continue to explore for experimental solutions to satisfy their own individual problems and needs.


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