Governance and Finance of Metropolitan in Federal Systems is a series of research essays which are compiled and edited by
Slack and Chattopadhyay do a excellent job of bringing together the case studies from the authors and uniting them under the umbrella of a small number of issues and challenges that related to geography and sharing power across differing levels of government. Although the book is primarily an evaluation of the different governance types and financial systems the only issue that I have is that the authors do not draw any conclusions on which government or financial system works best. Should metro municipalities gravitate towards a single one tiered structure for more efficiency or a towards a fragmented two-tier structure that allows greater representation? How does the system of governance in South Africa compare to that of Canada or the United States? Despite there not being a right or wrong answer to these questions it would have been great to hear the editors’ insights.
As for whether you should read this book, if you have serious interest in city finance and governance around the world this book is a must read, for the more causal observer it could be a hard slog to complete.