Rhetoric in municipal amalgamations: a comparative analysis

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Local Government Studies, 2019, 45 (5), pp. 748 - 767
Issue Date:
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© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. There is a large literature that seeks to evaluate municipal amalgamations ex post, but a relative dearth of scholarly inquiry into the practical political task of persuading the public to accept amalgamations ex ante. We address this important gap in the literature by conducting a rhetorical analysis to ascertain what types of arguments are believed to be efficacious for persuasion on amalgamation. We find evidence to suggest belief in the efficacy of persuading the public through recourse to various projected dreadful consequences, particularly amongst opponents of amalgamation. We conclude by considering some of the reasons behind the observed rhetorics and briefly outline one possible solution.
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