Mandates to Coordinate: The Case of the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act

Josephine Gatti Schafer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Policymakers are increasingly mandating intergovernmental coordination. As a result, new questions have arisen about how bureaucrats interpret and respond to these directives. Drawing on the perspectives of top-down implementation and institutional theory, this article suggests that mandates to coordinate will result in structural efforts such as hierarchy, centralization, and formalization to signal coordination and demonstrate compliance with the mandate. However, such efforts can be ineffective for achieving coordination. These claims are explored through a case study of the implementation of the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act of 1998, which called on federal land management agencies to coordinate with units of local government in southern Nevada to develop a regional system of parks, trails, and natural areas. The discussion draws on interviews with 14 participants to provide context and explanation for the actions of the implementing agents, including how the mandate affected the structures, processes, and procedures that were put in place to realize the goal of coordination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-47
Number of pages25
JournalPublic Performance and Management Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • coordination
  • intergovernmental management
  • mandates
  • networks
  • organizational theory and behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Administration
  • Strategy and Management


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