Fields of Authority: Special Purpose Governance in Ontario, 1815-2015
Published: May 2016© 2016
320 Pages, 6.50 x 9.00 x 1.00 in, 13 figures
Everywhere we turn in Canadian local politics – from policing to transit, education to public health, planning to utilities – we encounter a peculiar institutional animal: the special purpose body. These “ABCs” of local government – library boards, school boards, transit authorities, and many others – provide vital public services, spend large sums of public money, and raise important questions about local democratic accountability.
In Fields of Authority, Jack Lucas provides the first systematic exploration of local special purpose bodies in Ontario. Drawing on extensive research in local and provincial archives, Lucas uses a “policy fields” approach to explain how these local bodies in Ontario have developed from the nineteenth century to the present. A lively and accessible study, Fields of Authority will appeal to readers interested in Canadian political history, urban politics, and urban public policy.
1. Local Institutional Change and the Policy Fields Approach
PART ONE: LOCAL ABCS IN KITCHENER, ONTARIO
2. Berlin, Ontario in the Age of the ABC
3. The Special-Purpose Routine: ABCs Triumphant
4. Regional Reform and Municipal Restructuring: The Final Chapter?
PART TWO: LOCAL ABCS IN THREE PROVINCIAL-MUNICIPAL DOMAINS
5. Public School Boards
6. Local Boards of Health
7. Hydro-Electric Commissions
“Fields of Authority is a beautifully written and empirically robust study of special purpose bodies.”Caroline Andrew, Centre on Governance, University of Ottawa
“Jack Lucas demonstrates an unbelievable range and depth of research in Fields of Authority. This book fills a significant hole in the available scholarship.”Rand Dyck, Department of Political Science, Carleton University
“Fields of Authority is an engaging and accessible volume that will be of interest to both specialists and lay readers. Jack Lucas’s fluid and descriptive style constructs a series of rich narratives that capture the reader’s interest and attention as he reveals the fascinating history of key special purpose bodies in Ontario.”Daniel Henstra, Department of Political Science, University of Waterloo