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In this essay I would like to address briefly four issues of importance to local governments raised by the September 11 attack and its aftermath. These issues are the role of local governments in addressing questions of public safety and preparedness; the relations among local governments within a region in responding to terrorism; the role of the federal government in the local response to terrorism; and the implications of September 11 for the structures and functions of local government. These issues are interconnected. Certainly, an effective local response to the public safety challenge posed by terrorism will require more coordinated interlocal relations and stronger federal support for local government. So, too, the greater burdens on urban governments in the post-September 11 world will put an even greater premium on local democracy, accountability, and attention to local government's public responsibilities. These are issues which have been at the heart of local government law and central to debates over local government for years. After September 11, however, these issues have become even more important than before, and the consequences of mistakes or inaction in addressing these questions are potentially devastating.


Law | State and Local Government Law | Terrorism Studies


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