Effects of Political Institutions on Punctuated-Equilibrium in Local Emergency Management Policy Processes: Examination of County Governments in Florida, U.S.

  • Sung-Wook Kwon Texas Tech University, Department of Political Science, Box 41015, Lubbock, TX, 79409
  • Sang Ok Choi Korea University, Department of Public Administration, Anam-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul, 136-701, South Korea
  • Sang-Seok Bae Ajou University, Department of Public Administration, San 5, Woncheon-dong, Yeongtong-gu, Suwon, 443-749, South Korea
Keywords: political institution, form of government, home rule charter, policy process, punctuated-equilibrium, local emergency management policy


This paper extends punctuated-equilibrium theory to the local level by investigating how local political institutions influence local emergency management policy process in county governments in Florida, U.S. The results show that county governments with a reformed form of government and home rule charter prioritize emergency situations more quickly in the policy process resulting in larger-scale budget changes than counties that have the traditional commission form and no home rule authority. Higher level of punctuation in counties with reformed political institutions is explained by political and administrative incentives of county mayors and managers, as well as political and fiscal discretion from state government.