The Varieties of Consolidation Experience: A Synthesis and Extension of Local Government Consolidation Models

“This article revises and extends Leland and Thurmaier’s (2004a, 2004b) City—County Consolidation (C3) model by synthesizing it with Johnson’s (2004) Theory of Local Constitutional Change (LCC) and Hughes and Lee’s (2002) Evolutionary Consolidation Model (ECM). The result, we find, is a more general model of local government consolidation. Our model is applicable to a wider variety of consolidation types and incorporates a full consideration of varied charter development processes. Ultimately, this allows for acknowledgment of the possibility that consolidation attempts may be halted prior to a referendum campaign and that those attempts may reflect either conflicts of interest or consensual efforts at problem-solving.

We focus specifically on Indiana after enactment of the 2006 Government Modernization Act. After enactment of the act, Indiana experienced seven consolidation efforts from 2008 to 2012. Examination of these efforts provides a robust comparative case study of consolidation efforts occurring during a narrow timeframe and under a common institutional context. The study not only illustrates the suitability of our revised and extended model, but it also confirms a number of Leland and Thurmaier’s (2005) findings from their reassessment of the C3 model.”

Charles D. Taylor | 2020,,