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Beyond Privatopia: Rethinking Residential Private Government (Urban Institute Press) Paperback – April 28, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Beyond Privatopia: Rethinking Residential Private Government (Urban Institute Press)
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  • Privatopia: Homeowner Associations and the Rise of Residential Private Government
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  • The Homeowners Association Manual (Homeowners Association Manual)(5th Edition)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

For those looking for a second-generation analysis of community associations, Beyond Privatopia is essential. In his 1994 classic, Privatopia, Evan McKenzie documented the rise of a major new American governing institution, the private community association. Local government was being privatized on a massive scale--not always to the best effects, McKenzie concluded. In this new book he explores developments since then; as always, he is skeptical of conventional wisdom and proposes significant reforms. --Robert H. Nelson, Professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, and author of Private Neighborhoods and the Transformation of Local Government

For international scholars of private urban governance, Evan McKenzie's writings are among the richest and most trusted sources. His unique position as an open-minded and thoughtful political scientist and a practicing lawyer who advises homeowner associations means that Beyond Privatopia, like his earlier Privatopia, will become required reading. McKenzie's insights increase the probability that legal protections for public governments, private governments, and homeowners will emerge. --Chris Webster, Professor of Urban Planning and Development, Cardiff University

Once again Evan McKenzie joins great scholarship with practical experience to explain the legal and social nuances of common interest developments. In Beyond Privatopia, he shows us why private government has come to dominate new housing and provides insight into why community associations often do not work as intended. McKenzie's assessment will interest anyone looking to understand the history, challenges, and survival of America's thousands of community associations. --Tyler P. Berding, author of The Uncertain Future of Community Associations

Review

For those looking for a second-generation analysis of community associations, Beyond Privatopia is essential. In his 1994 classic, Privatopia, Evan McKenzie documented the rise of a major new American governing institution, the private community association. Local government was being privatized on a massive scale―not always to the best effects, McKenzie concluded. In this new book he explores developments since then; as always, he is skeptical of conventional wisdom and proposes significant reforms. ―Robert H. Nelson, Professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, and author of Private Neighborhoods and the Transformation of Local Government

For international scholars of private urban governance, Evan McKenzie's writings are among the richest and most trusted sources. His unique position as an open-minded and thoughtful political scientist and a practicing lawyer who advises homeowner associations means that Beyond Privatopia, like his earlier Privatopia, will become required reading. McKenzie's insights increase the probability that legal protections for public governments, private governments, and homeowners will emerge. ―Chris Webster, Professor of Urban Planning and Development, Cardiff University

Once again Evan McKenzie joins great scholarship with practical experience to explain the legal and social nuances of common interest developments. In Beyond Privatopia, he shows us why private government has come to dominate new housing and provides insight into why community associations often do not work as intended. McKenzie's assessment will interest anyone looking to understand the history, challenges, and survival of America's thousands of community associations. ―Tyler P. Berding, author of The Uncertain Future of Community Associations
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Product Details

  • Series: Urban Institute Press
  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; first edition (April 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877667691
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877667698
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,481,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Anyone who buys into your community, regardless of criminal or educational background, can get on the board of your HOA. Even if their performance is exceedingly poor and your building is decaying from neglect they're difficult to remove from office. Board members become entrenched.

HOA management companies aren't regulated by the state like real estate companies. There are no required background checks, training or licensing. Anyone can hang up a shingle, call themselves management and, like magic, everyone follows their tune even if they don't know how to play.

Would you trust your neighbor with your bank account? In an HOA, you place what is, for most of us, our largest investment, our homes, into the hands of neighbors who are strangers. Do you know who your board members are? Most people I know can't even name one board member.

Apathy is the driving force behind HOAs and the main reason for their continuing to thrive.

HOAs are unAmerican and one of the most flawed, corrupt systems.
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Professor Evan McKenzie, thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this long awaited book. Homeowners just don't know what they're getting into when they give away all their Constitutional rights to enter a Homeowners Association. Your first book was important. This update is critically important.
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The effective privatization of local government by mandatory membership homeowner associations represents a major transformation of local government with implications that are only now being appreciated outside the circle of developers, land planners and real estate attorneys behind their explosive growth over the past four decades.

McKenzie rightly questions the sustainability of this form of governance by private nonprofit corporation that's heavily reliant on often reluctant volunteer homeowners to provide its leadership and funding. A subject matter expert who first wrote on the topic in his 1994 book, Privatopia: Homeowner Associations and the Rise of Residential Private Government, McKenzie details the larger policy issues behind the growing number of media accounts of embezzlement, frivolous litigation and mismanagement involving these associations.
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An important topic given that vast majority of new housing is located in "planned developments." The dangers of private government were demonstrated recently in eastern Florida where a man was fined $5,000 because 2 trees he planted in his yard were deemed to be too small (guess the hoa wasn't willing to wait for them to grow). Those who live in condos or developments where they are legally bound to abide by covenants need to consider the ramifications of extensive power by boards and management agencies.

A little heavy on theory and thought book should have addressed more practical matters in addition to the content. Author has done a public service by staying on top of this issue.
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