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Power and City Governance: Comparative Perspectives on Urban Development

Alan DiGaetano
John S. Klemanski
Volume: 4
Copyright Date: 1999
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 344
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  • Book Info
    Power and City Governance
    Book Description:

    This book develops a new way of comparing and understanding urban politics across national borders. The authors’ approach, called “modes of governance,” emphasizes governing alignments and their agendas. Applying this perspective to Boston and Detroit in the United States and Birmingham and Bristol in England, the authors compare the effects of postindustrial and urban political transformations, and link these to trends in the wider political economy.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8961-3
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)

    In the past, British and American cities functioned as centers of production and distribution, of learning and entertainment, and of regional, national, and international public affairs. After World War II, however, many larger cities in Britain and the United States (and elsewhere in the industrialized world) appeared to be in danger of losing their centrality to economic, cultural, and political life. The main feature of postindustrial spatial development in Britain and the United States has been population deconcentration, brought about by dramatic processes of suburbanization. Moreover, as the middle classes moved to the urban periphery, they left behind an increasingly...

  6. Part I: Comparing Urban Governance in the United Kingdom and the United States

    • 1 Modes of Governance in Comparative Perspective
      (pp. 13-30)

      What is taken for granted in comparing cities within a single country—their intergovernmental relations or role of their courts, for example—may emerge as daunting obstacles to cross-national comparisons. The danger here is that one might be tempted to take the path of least resistance and focus simply on principal differences (see Gurr and King 1987; Kantor, Savitch, and Haddock 1997). Such a course might, however, miss what is more subtle but perhaps equally important: common traits in urban politics of liberal democratic countries, such as the informal processes of coalition building and the use of power implicated in...

    • 2 Urban Structuring and Restructuring
      (pp. 31-60)

      Urban structuring and restructuring refers to the set of global, national, regional, and local forces that configure the socioeconomic spatial arrangements of cities. Within urban structuring and restructuring, two distinct but related patterns of development can be discerned. The first includes the spatial dimensions of work, production, and distribution of goods and services. Relevant here are the postindustrial trends of globalization of the economy, deindustrialization, and an increasing emphasis on a service economy. The second type of urban structuring and restructuring refers to the spatial implications of population shifts in a city’s racial and ethnic make-up and in the relative...

    • 3 State Structuring and Restructuring
      (pp. 61-86)

      Differences in political institutions arise from differences in the histories and cultural moorings of different countries. Not surprisingly, most comparative studies of urban politics underscore these institutional differences (Gurr and King 1987; Keating 1991; Wolman and Goldsmith 1992). But in such differences lies a common ground for comparison that can be explored using the modes of governance model. That is, although different institutional structures create different political landscapes, what is common to them all is the use of power in the process of governance. Further, because institutions constitute bases of power for political actors, institutional structures greatly affect the nature...

    • 4 Urban Governing Alignments and Realignments
      (pp. 87-126)

      Critical realignments, as Walter Dean Burnham (1982:10) defines them, are

      extraordinary upheavals in the flow of American electoral and policy history that occur under conditions of abnormal and general crisis. Realignment episodes involve a major increase in ideological polarization among parties and political elites, more or less abrupt but thereafter durable shifts in the nature and social location of party coalitions in the electorate, and major changes in the shape and direction of public policy.

      We think that the notions ofgoverning alignments and realignmentsare aptly suited to the study of urban politics. Urban governing alignments, as defined here,...

  7. Part II: Progrowth Politics

    • 5 The Politics of Regional Primacy
      (pp. 129-166)

      The notion that the engines of postindustrial urban economies have been driven by downtown functions such ascommand centersfor corporate headquarters (Sassen 1991) or financial and business service centers (Fainstein 1994) has become widely accepted (see also Judd and Swanstrom 1998:chapter 13). Accordingly, efforts to revitalize downtown economies by offering public subsidies to office and commercial development in the 1970s and 1980s have been referred to ascorporate center strategies(Hill 1983; see also Judd and Swanstrom 1998). It is our contention that these conceptions of downtown economies and the strategies to redevelop them in the 1980s and 1990s...

    • 6 Coping with Industrial Decline
      (pp. 167-194)

      Birmingham and Detroit emerged as respective national centers for car production in Great Britain and the United States in the first part of the twentieth century. Once powerful engines of national growth, these industrial behemoths have seen their economic importance ebb considerably over the last half century. National and international competition has led industrial firms to locate new factories or mills in suburban or exurban settings, often overseas, either to be closer to target markets or to take advantage of cheaper sources of labor. As a consequence, large-scale production facilities in Birmingham and Detroit became rarer sights. Moreover, the two...

  8. Part III: The Dilemmas of Progressive Urban Politics

    • 7 The Politics of Social Reform
      (pp. 197-222)

      In American cities, social reform traditionally has been overshadowed by the specter of progrowth politics (see Logan and Molotch 1987). But in the 1980s, social reform coalitions gained prominence in a number of cities, including San Francisco, Santa Monica, Minneapolis, and even Chicago (see Bennett 1989; DeLeon 1992; Clavel 1986; Nickel 1995; Ferman 1996). These challenges to the dominance of progrowth politics met with considerable success, fostering policies and programs that centered on community rather than downtown development.

      Social reform has a more continuous history in British urban politics, given the socialist predilections of the Labour party. Labourist traditions of...

    • 8 The Dilemmas of Growth Management Politics
      (pp. 223-240)

      Leavened by the forces that degraded urban life—sprawl, pollution, traffic congestion, and the destruction of green space and historic architecture—the politics of growth management in American cities arose in reaction to the externalities of rapid growth. In some cases, growth management movements found strong allies among state and local government officials. For example, in Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, growth management governing coalitions installed elaborate systems to regulate land use locally and regionally (see Caves 1992; Egan 1996). In other cases, growth management movements encountered resistance or apathy from government officials. Particularly (but not exclusively) in the western...

  9. Part IV: Modes of Governance as Explanation

    • 9 Explaining Modes of Governance
      (pp. 243-280)

      The primary focus of this book has been to compare postindustrial urban development politics in the United Kingdom and the United States. The object of this analysis has been what we termed modes of governance, which embody the “who, how, and what” of governing large cities. Adopting a comparative case study approach, we have sought to show how governing coalitions (who), power structures (how), and governing agendas (what) have varied between and within the United Kingdom and the United States. We also have endeavored to demonstrate that commonalities in the practice of urban politics exist, principally the process of building...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 281-282)
  11. References
    (pp. 283-308)
  12. Index
    (pp. 309-328)