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PADM620 - Local Political Administration

Course Details

Course Code: PADM620 Course ID: 2728 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course will expand the student's understanding of the leading approaches to public administration with a focus on the local and state levels of government. It will cover topics including decision-making, budget and taxation, and electoral and legal differences between state and local governments and other states. It will cover the legislative process, and how it fits into the larger federal system. Students will see the implications to the larger federal issues they have studied and their application to state and local bureaucracies.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
04/27/20 - 10/02/20 10/05/20 - 11/29/20 Fall 2020 Session B 8 Week session
06/29/20 - 12/04/20 12/07/20 - 01/31/21 Fall 2020 Session D 8 Week session
08/31/20 - 01/29/21 02/01/21 - 03/28/21 Winter 2021 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

1. Assess the leading approaches to managing local government services

2. Evaluate the moral, legal, and ethical aspects of decision-making at the local government level

3. Evaluate the local government budgeting process and funding of local programs and services

4. Appraise the role of local government in public policy development and implementation

5. Develop solutions to a local public issue that take into account multiple stakeholders and decision-makers

6. Implement the core concept of public service by providing evidence of service to your community

7. Analyze a difficult local political situation and offer creative and innovative solutions that take into account multiple stakeholders and decision-makers

8. Assess the part diversity, or lack thereof, plays in public administration

Questions and topics posed in the Forums are designed to promote thought and insight. Students must provide a critical review of the questions, topics and issues posed and substantively reply to the contributions of at least three peers. Individual postings should include a full discussion of the content of the question posed and explain how it relates to the concepts in the weekly text readings and other resources. The postings should be analytic in nature and include comparisons/contrasts, and examples that can bolster your point. The Forum is for your benefit and it is important to respond to the discussion topic and to engage others in a running dialogue.

Your initial post should be made by Thursday each week. You should then respond to 3 or more posts. Note that at least one response to your classmates must be made before Sunday. If you make all of your responsive posts on Sunday, you will not earn full points for timeliness.

This can be accomplished by

· Validating with additional evidence from the literature.

· Posing a thoughtful question with commentary which generates further discussion.

· Providing an alternative point-of-view, with evidence and examples.

· Offering additional insight into how the concept might be understood, with evidence provided with real world examples.

You should be active in the classroom throughout the week and actively engaged in the back-and-forth discussion between your colleagues and the professor.

The forum grading rubric can be found in gradebook by clicking on the forum entry.

NameGrade %
Forums 30.00 %
Week 1 Forum Introductions 0.37 %
Week 1 Forum Topic 3.70 %
Week 2 Forum 3.70 %
Week 3 Forum 3.70 %
Week 4 Forum 3.70 %
Week 5 Forum 3.70 %
Week 6 Forum 3.70 %
Week 7 Forum 3.70 %
Week 8 Forum 3.70 %
Assignments 45.00 %
Week 2 Assignment: Mandates 15.00 %
Week 4 Assignment: Government Regulation 15.00 %
Week 6 Assignment: Servant Leadership 15.00 %
Observation of Government meeting 25.00 %
Week 8 Assignment: Observation of a Public Meeting 25.00 %

Required Readings

Please see the list below for your required readings and viewings for the course. You can find the journals by logging into the APUS library and searching the title. They are also available to you in the lessons section of the course by clicking on the Reading and Resources tab each week.

Readings PADM620

Week One - Intro to State and Local Government

Government 101: State Governments

State Government Employment: Totals by Job Type: 1960-2016 (n.d.) Governing. Retrieved from

Maciag, Mike. (2017) The States Cutting Their Government Workforce. Governing. Retrieved from

McCarthy, J. (2016). Americans still more trusting in local over state government. Gallup Poll News Service.

Heidbreder, B. (2016). Change and continuity in the study of state and local governance: A conversation with Ann Bowman. State and Local Government Review, 48(1), 63-71. doi:10.1177/0160323X16631020

Perlman, B. J. (2015). Trust and timing: The importance of relationship and opportunity for interlocal collaboration and agreements. State and Local Government Review, 47(2), 116-126. doi:10.1177/0160323X15587984

Gooden, S. T., & Rissler, G. E. (2017). Local government: Social equity “First responders”. State and Local Government Review, 49(1), 37-47. doi:10.1177/0160323X17720268

Governing from the Ground Up: How Local Government Really Works. Brookings Institute. Please watch the video at

To see an example of one state government site, see at You can find yours on some of the website links listed next.

Additional resources – Please review these resources and explore the tabs. You are encouraged to use them in your forums as well.

State and Local on the net

National Conference of State Legislatures

National Governors Association

National League of Cities

National Association of Counties

International City/County Management Association

PA Times

Council of State Governments

National Center for State Courts

National Association of Towns and Townships

US Conference of Mayors

The Library of Congress State Government Information Local Governments

Week Two – Federalism

Metzger, G. E. (2015). AGENCIES, POLARIZATION, AND THE STATES. Columbia Law Review, 115(7), 1739-1787. Retrieved from

Keevey, R. F. (2015). All Government Debt Is Not the Same: Different Problems Require Different Responses. Public Administration Review, 75(6), 793-794. doi:10.1111/puar.12447

Weinstein-Tull, J. (2016). Election law federalism. Michigan Law Review, 114(5), 747 - 801.

Week Three - Elections and Political Parties

Gimpel, J. G., Lee, F. E., & Parrott, M. (2014). Business interests and the party coalitions: Industry sector contributions to U.S. congressional campaigns. American Politics Research, 42(6), 1034-1076. doi:10.1177/1532673X14525832

Hamilton, L. C., & Saito, K. (2015). A four-party view of US environmental concern. Environmental Politics, 24(2), 212-227. doi:10.1080/09644016.2014.976485

Gurian, P., Burroughs, N., Atkeson, L. R., Cann, D., & Haynes, A. A. (2016). National party division and divisive state primaries in U.S. presidential elections, 1948-2012. Political Behavior, 38(3), 689-711. doi:

Milita, K. (2015). Election laws and agenda setting: How election law restrictiveness shapes the complexity of state ballot measures. State Politics & Policy Quarterly, 15(2), 119-146. Retrieved from

Election law - partisan gerrymandering - district court offers new standard to hold Wisconsin redistricting scheme unconstitutional. (2017). Harvard Law Review, 130(7), 1954 - 1961.

Week Four - Governors and the Legislature

Lewis, D. C., Schneider, S. K., & Jacoby, W. G. (2015). Institutional characteristics and state policy priorities: The impact of legislatures and governors. State Politics & Policy Quarterly, 15(4), 447-475. doi:10.1177/1532440015586315

Hennessey, J. (2014). Loss of control: Legislature changes and the state-local relationship. Constitutional Political Economy, 25(4), 407-433. doi:

Uppal, Y., & Glazer, A. (2015). legislative turnover, fiscal policy, and economic growth: Evidence from U.S. state legislatures. Economic Inquiry, 53(1), 91-107. doi:10.1111/ecin.12118

Cooper, C. A., Knotts, H. G., & Ragusa, J. (2016). The constrained governor. Political Research Quarterly, 69(3), 482-494. doi:

Joaquin, M. E., & Myers, N. G. (2015). Accountability, learning, and response amid fiscal crisis. Administration & Society, 47(8), 1015-1037. doi:10.1177/0095399714532270

Week Five – State Courts

Judicial Learning Center

State Courts vs. Federal Courts

Please take the challenge on each page and continue to click through all the links to end on the Impartial Federal Judiciary video. Please watch it as well. Finish with the Judicial Independence quiz.

Comparing Federal and State Courts

US Legal. State Courts

Leib, E. J. (2015). Local judges and local government. New York University Journal of Legislation and Public Policy, 18(4), 707 - 739.

Greenblatt, Alan. (2016) Does Size Matter? The Latest Battle Over State Supreme Courts. Governing. Retrieved from

Frost, A. (2015). Inferiority complex: Should state courts follow lower federal court precedent on the meaning of federal law? Vanderbilt Law Review, 68(1), 53-103. Retrieved from

Thumma, S. A. (2017). One day in the life of one STATE COURT APPELLATE JUDGE. The Judges' Journal, 56(2), 14-17. Retrieved from

Hartmus, D. M., & Walters, J. (2016). Municipal bankruptcy and local court funding: What we can learn from the city of Detroit, Michigan. Justice System Journal, 37(2), 144-156. doi:

Week Six – Cities and Metropolitan Areas

Boschken, H. L. (2017). Aligning a multi-government network with situational context: Metropolitan governance as an organizational systems problem. The American Review of Public Administration, 47(2), 189-208. doi:10.1177/0275074016668402

Homsy, G. C., & Warner, M. E. (2015). Cities and sustainability: Polycentric action and multilevel governance. Urban Affairs Review, 51(1), 46-73. doi:10.1177/1078087414530545

Wogan, J.B. (2017) Population Growth Means a City is Thriving: Or Does It? Governing. Retrieved from

Albino, V., Berardi, U., & Dangelico, R. M. (2015). Smart Cities: Definitions, Dimensions, Performance, and Initiatives. Journal of Urban Technology, 22(1), 3-21. doi:10.1080/10630732.2014.942092

Smith, Egan, PE,P.T.O.E., P.T.P. (2017). Smart cities and communities. Institute of Transportation Engineers. ITE Journal, 87(2), 36-38. Retrieved from

Dameri, R. P., & Benevolo, C. (2016). Governing smart cities: An empirical analysis. Social Science Computer Review, 34(6), 693-707. doi:10.1177/0894439315611093

Week Seven – Decision Making and Civil Servants

Barrett, Katherine, Greene, Richard. (2017) The Rise of the COO in State Government. Governing. Retrieved from

Boateng, J., & Cox,Raymond W., I.,II. (2016). Exploring the trust question in the midst of public management reforms. Public Personnel Management, 45(3), 239-263. doi:

Hamidullah, M. F., Riccucci, N. M., & Pandey, S. K. (2015). Women in city hall: Gender dimensions of managerial values. The American Review of Public Administration, 45(3), 247-262. doi:10.1177/0275074013498464

Lukensmeyer, C. J. (2017). Civic tech and public policy decision making. PS, Political Science & Politics, 50(3), 764-771. doi:

Huang, W., & Feeney, M. K. (2016). Citizen participation in local government decision making: The role of manager motivation. Review of Public Personnel Administration, 36(2), 188-209. doi:10.1177/0734371X15576410

Kelman, S., Sanders, R., & Pandit, G. (2016). 'I Won't Back Down?' Complexity and Courage in Government Executive Decision Making. Public Administration Review, 76(3), 465-471. doi:10.1111/puar.12476

Avery, E. J., Graham, M., & Park, S. (2016). Planning Makes (Closer to) Perfect: Exploring United States' Local Government Officials' Evaluations of Crisis Management. Journal of Contingencies & Crisis Management, 24(2), 73-81. doi:10.1111/1468-5973.12109

Hall, J. L. (2017). PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT: CONFRONTING THE CHALLENGES FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT. Public Administration Quarterly, 41(1), 43-66. Retrieved from

Week Eight – Privatization and Taxation

Hertel-Fernandez, A., & Skocpol, T. (2015). Asymmetric interest group mobilization and party coalitions in U.S. tax politics. Studies in American Political Development, 29(2), 235-249. doi:

Lobao, L., Adua, L., & Hooks, G. (2014). Privatization, business attraction, and social services across the united states: Local governments’ use of market-oriented, neoliberal policies in the post-2000 period. Social Problems, 61(4), 644-672. doi:10.1525/sp.2014.12180

Wang, J., & McFadden, E. S. (2016). The absence of social equity measurement in municipal service privatization: Are residents feeling dumped on? State and Local Government Review, 48(1), 21-29. doi:10.1177/0160323X15624474

Mitchell, M., & Stratmann, T. (2015). A tragedy of the anticommons: Local option taxation and cell phone tax bills. Public Choice, 165(3-4), 171-191. doi:

Rahm, D., Farmer, J. L., & Fields, B. (2016). The eagle ford shale development and local government fiscal behavior. Public Budgeting & Finance, 36(3), 45-68. doi:10.1111/pbaf.12078

Web Sites

In addition to the required course texts, the following public domain web sites are useful. Please abide by the university’s academic honesty policy when using Internet sources as well. Note web site addresses are subject to change.

Site Name

Web Site URL/Address

National League of Cities

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association

National Governors Association

National Center for State Courts

National Conference of State Legislatures

National Association of Counties

National Association of Towns and Townships

U.S. Conference of Mayors

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.