State Cooperation With Local Governments Essay
Variables fostering cooperation among local governments
It is possible to single out several factors that promote cooperation between local governments. One of them is the necessity to overcome common problems, for instance, one can speak about environmental threats (Pierre, 1998, p 88). When local governments face similar difficulties and when individual efforts are not sufficient, they will be more likely to work together. Another factor that is indispensable for cooperation is a mutual understanding of their goals and the strategies that should be adopted to achieve these goals. For instance, in the past, many local governments of the United States implemented similar educational programs because they proved to be beneficial for adolescents (Kenyon & Kincaid, 1991, p 249). It should be noted that the degree of cooperation strongly depends on how local officials view themselves as well as their duties and responsibilities. If they are primarily concerned about their private ambitions, they are less likely to cooperate; yet, if they are interested in the wellbeing of the community, they will be more willing to work together. Thus, we can say concern about community needs is an inherent part of this collaboration.
Cooperation among state governments
To some degree, these variables are conducive for international cooperation as well. When different countries encounter common dangers, they try to set their differences aside and join their forces. One of the most famous examples is the adoption of the Kyoto protocol that is aimed at reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases (Shogren, 1999). However, one should bear in mind that in the case of international politics, the necessity to overcome common problems is not always a unifying force. To prove this point, we can refer to the Kyoto Protocol: the United States refused to ratify this agreement by arguing that it will harm many industrial companies, located in this country (Shogren, 1999, p 13). In part, it can be explained by the fact that state governments view international politics as a zero-sum game, in which countries act like competitors rather than as partners (Shogren, 2002, p 47). This is why such variables common difficulties and even common vision of goals and strategies do not always contribute to cooperation.
If I were responsible for the development of the message and media strategy for dissemination of a local government’s initiative, I would first try to determine whom this initiative will affect. One has to define this group or population as accurately as possible. Governmental officials should first understand the major concerns and interests of these people (Snow & Taylor, 2009). This information is essential for local governments as they need to emphasize the benefits of their initiatives for this particular group. Apart from that, they need to know how to address this population: through television, newspapers, or via the Internet if it is possible. This is why the peculiarities of the target audience should be taken into account. Another factor that one has to consider is the type of initiative itself. Policy-makers have to know its hypothetical implications for different members of the community. There is a great likelihood that many people will object to governmental policies and local officials must know how to answer their questions. Finally, they should carefully research public opinion about a certain problem that is related to the government’s initiative. Their media strategies have to rely on these sociological data; otherwise, the new policies may not be accepted by the community.
Kenyon D & Kincaid J. (1991). Competition among states and local governments: efficiency and equity in American Federalism. NY: The Urban Institute.
Pierre J. (1998). Partnerships in urban governance: European and American experience. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Shogren J. (1999). The benefits and costs of the Kyoto Protocol. Washington: American Enterprise Institute.
Snow. N & Taylor. P. (2009) Routledge handbook of public diplomacy. California: Taylor & Francis.
Sterling-Folker J. (2002). Theories of international cooperation and the primacy of anarchy: explaining U.S. international policy-making after Bretton Woods. NY: SUNY Press.