Research concerning the impact of metropolitan political structures on political participation has generated a wide range of conflicting findings. This failure to solve this puzzle results from a failure to fully characterize the many dimensions of metropolitan institutional context that bear on citizens' political behaviors. The authors provide such a characterization and test its implications with data on turnout in local legislative elections in 336 municipalities in 12 metropolitan areas. They examine the complex debate over the role of metropolitan political contexts in fostering political participation and identify four dimensions of contextual influence on turnout. They find that these contextual influences interact in significant ways that generate surprising results. Overall, however, the results lend far greater support to those favoring the consolidation of urban political institutions than those supporting further fragmentation of local government.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Urban Studies