Creating metropolitan regions that are more efficient, equitable, and sustainable depends on the willingness of local officials to work together across municipal boundaries to solve large-scale problems. How do these local officials think? Why do they only sometimes cooperate? What kind of governance do they choose in the face of persistent problems? The Risk of Regional Governance offers a new perspective on these questions. Drawing on theory from sociology and anthropology, it argues that many of the most important cooperative decisions local officials make-those about land use planning and regulation-are driven by heuristic, biased reasoning driven by cultural values. The Risk of Regional Governance builds a sociocultural collective action framework, and supports it with rich survey and interview data from hundreds of local elected officials serving in the suburbs of Detroit and Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a story of the Rust Belt, of how local officials think about their community and the region, and-most importantly-of how we might craft policies that can overcome biases against regional governance.