Since the initial introduction of the management of metropolitan regions in Iran in 1995, numerous governmental structures have been proposed by the government or by urban researchers to manage these large-scale territories. Studies show that managerial proposals related to the Integrated Administration of metropolitan regions, which are proposed by the government in a concrete respect to the existing laws, were very crude, loose and inefficient, and later they are abandoned and forgotten in the absence of enabling factors of metropolitan governance. On the other hand, at least in the framework of three research projects that have been carried out on the integrated management of metropolitan regions, various governmental structures have been proposed for the integrated management of such territories. In many cases, both the scientific community and policymakers also neglect these proposals. Our surveys show that each of the proposals in these researches has several weaknesses in terms of the theories, principles and criteria that should be considered in any urban local government reorganization. The purpose of this paper is to prepare and discuss a theoretical framework that should be considered in any reorganizing of local and regional governments in metropolitan scale. The findings of the paper suggest that two important functional and local community dimensions influence the size and function of metropolitan governments, where the lack of attention to them can lead to the production of proposals that are not fitted to the existing contexts and in terms of scientific methodology are defective. These two dimensions are discussed in five distinct criteria: a) economy of scale; b) internalization of externalities; c) equity; d) responsiveness and accountability; and e) subsidiarity. In addition to presenting the theoretical framework of this topic, this paper tries to apply its theoretical principles in evaluating one of the comprehensive proposed models for the governmental restructuring of Iran's metropolitan regions, which is a federative/two-tier metropolitan government. It is clear that if the intended local government reorganization is aimed at establishing a "two-tiered metropolitan government", the reflection of the above five general principles should be followed in devising following five areas: (a) the size of the metropolitan government territory, b) the size and boundaries of the lower units of government,c) the division of responsibilities between two levels of government, d) the type of representation and legitimacy of metropolitan government,e) the delineation of intergovernmental relations. It should be remembered that the issue of the reorganization of the metropolitan government is one of the most complex, multidisciplinary and highly political topics that make it extremely difficult to provide a perfect model and structure in terms of scientific methodology, political acceptability and economic efficiency. With implementing such local government reorganizations, so much power resources must be transferred, which is why such a thing is politically serious. It is evident that former owners of those power and stakes in former framework will resist this great transformation. The theoretical framework presented here can be expanded much more widely and will guide the thinking and practice of political and territorial reorganization in our country.
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