Localism in America brings together an eclectic and ideologically diverse group of thinkers to examine various aspects of local governance and problem-solving. Some of the contributors assess the merits of local governing itself and suggest that, paradoxically, solving big problems may work better with smaller units of government. Others contend that localism involves the integrity of essential units within society such as families, neighborhoods, and other locally approximate communities. Understood this way, the best way to promote local problem-solving in critical areas such as education and health care means empowering these essential units of society regardless of whether a state or local government or another governmental body is administering the relevant policy.
Contributors to this volume also draw our attention to the growing importance of cities in our understanding of local solutions, why poverty is best addressed at the local level, and how reinvigorating local solutions is best for American democracy as a whole.