Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Justice and the American Metropolis

Justice and the American Metropolis

CLARISSA RILE HAYWARD
TODD SWANSTROM EDITORS
Volume: 18
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 280
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.cttttdqp
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Justice and the American Metropolis
    Book Description:

    Today’s American cities and suburbs are the sites of “thick injustice”—unjust power relations that are densely concentrated as well as opaque and seemingly intractable. Identifying these often invisible problems, this volume addresses foundational questions about what justice requires in the contemporary metropolis, pointing the way to a metropolis in which social justice figures prominently in any definition of success.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-7873-0
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. INTRODUCTION Thick Injustice
    (pp. 1-30)
    CLARISSA RILE HAYWARD and TODD SWANSTROM

    A modest two-story brick home sits at 4600 Labadie Avenue in the heart of St. Louis’s North Side. Nothing sets this house apart from its neighbors but a small metal plaque, which commemorates its role in the landmark Supreme Court decisionShelley v. Kraemer(334 U.S. 1 [1948]). In October 1945, J. D. and Ethel Shelley, an African-American couple, purchased 4600 Labadie. At that time, the house was covered by a deed restriction that prohibited occupancy by “any person not of the Caucasian race” and specifically by “people of the Negro or Mongolian Race” (quoted inShelley v. Kraemer334...

  5. I. THE ROOTS OF INJUSTICE IN THE AMERICAN METROPOLIS

    • 1 PROPERTY-OWNING PLUTOCRACY: Inequality and American Localism
      (pp. 33-58)
      STEPHEN MACEDO

      The American dream is a dream of liberty and opportunity. It promises reward and advancement to those who pursue it. The dream is pursued by families: parents seek it for themselves and their children. It involves owning a home and sending one’s children to a good school. These ideals organize our lives and inform our institutions. Public policy promotes it in all sorts of ways: for example, by encouraging home ownership and by providing free public education for all. It is a dream that most of us pursue, and it is a dream that we believe—or want to believe—...

    • 2 PUBLIC REASON AND THE JUST CITY
      (pp. 59-80)
      LOREN KING

      In this chapter I consider some problems of urban inequality in light of a particular dimension of justice: the importance of good reasons for imposing burdens on others. This will require saying something about what counts as a good reason, what sorts of burdens demand such reasons, and what counts as imposing a burden on others (as distinct from being blamelessly implicated in harm to others).

      In their introduction to this volume, Clarissa Hayward and Todd Swanstrom suggest that a recent lack of official public concern with issues of justice in and around our cities may be rooted in the...

    • 3 PUBLIC SPACE IN THE PROGRESSIVE ERA
      (pp. 81-102)
      MARGARET KOHN

      The first enduring discussion of justice, Plato’sRepublic, is also one of the few works that explores the connection between justice and the city (Plato 1992).The Republicdoes not lend itself to any simple interpretation, but one of the most prominent arguments is Socrates’s claim that the just city is organized hierarchically, with each class performing the task it is suited for. Today, under the influence of John Rawls, most political theorists hold the opposite view (1999, 2001). A just society is one that maximizes equality while protecting basic freedom. But what about the just city? This question has...

  6. II. RETHINKING METROPOLITAN INEQUALITY

    • 4 TWO CHEERS FOR VERY UNEQUAL INCOMES: Toward Social Justice in Central Cities
      (pp. 105-124)
      DOUGLAS W. RAE

      Upon the release of a recent United Nations (U.N.) study, theTimes of Indiaproffered, “In what could be thoroughly embarrassing for the U.S., its cities have been found to have levels of inequality as high as those of African and Latin American cities . . . Major U.S. cities, like Atlanta, New Orleans, Washington D.C., Miami, and New York have the highest levels of inequality in the country, similar to those of Nairobi, Buenos Aires, and Santiago.” Other newspapers around the world offered similar interpretations. The embarrassment identified in these writings is evidently the social injustice of bare-knuckle capitalism,...

    • 5 BEYOND THE EQUALITY–EFFICIENCY TRADEOFF
      (pp. 125-146)
      CLARENCE N. STONE

      For his 1974 Godkin Lecture, economist Arthur Okun chose as his topic “Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff” (1975). Okun put his thesis this way: “We can’t have our cake of market efficiency and share it equally” (1975, 2). His lecture was a harbinger of a profound shift in public policy. California’s Proposition 13, a keystone in the tax revolt movement, won approval in 1978, and that was followed by Ronald Reagan’s election to the presidency in 1980 on an antigovernment platform. Equality concerns largely faded away.

      The years following have seen the rise of supply-side economics with its accompanying notion...

  7. III. PLANNING FOR JUSTICE

    • 6 REDEVELOPMENT PLANNING AND DISTRIBUTIVE JUSTICE IN THE AMERICAN METROPOLIS
      (pp. 149-176)
      SUSAN S. FAINSTEIN

      Redevelopment policy, intended to transform the built environment on land already containing structures, constitutes the principal place-targeted approach to bettering urban areas within the United States. Major programs for redevelopment have occurred under both national and local guidance and have involved a variety of strategies. The purpose of redevelopment policy has been to improve the quality and efficiency of existing cities and, increasingly, of suburbs. Because of the interests already vested in occupied space, it has been a particularly contentious political arena. As originally framed after World War II, urban programs were envisioned as providing public investment so as to...

    • 7 JUSTICE, THE PUBLIC SECTOR, AND CITIES: Relegitimating the Activist State
      (pp. 177-198)
      THAD WILLIAMSON

      The assault on egalitarian social justice in the United States over the past forty years has also been an assault on the legitimacy of vigorous public action to forward substantive goals. This is no coincidence: egalitarian conceptions of social justice invariably assume that the state will be the principal mechanism for establishing just social arrangements and rectifying inequalities (Rawls 1971; Dworkin 2000). In contrast, neoliberal conceptions of governance aim to both straitjacket the public sector and stymie efforts toward meaningful egalitarian redistribution. Given this strong internal connection between attractive conceptions of social justice and the idea of an active, competent...

  8. IV. JUSTICE AND INSTITUTIONS

    • 8 VOTING AND JUSTICE
      (pp. 201-222)
      GERALD FRUG

      Elected city of officials make decisions that affect the lives of both city residents and outsiders. Local public schools have an impact on the communities in which graduates live wherever they are. City zoning policies influence not only the nature of city life but also that of neighboring communities. City police do not simply arrest local residents; sometimes, they patrol looking for outsiders. On these and many other policy issues, however, when local elected officials look to the general population for guidance, they tend to care principally about the views held by the people eligible to vote for them. It...

    • 9 THE COLOR OF TERRITORY: How Law and Borders Keep America Segregated
      (pp. 223-236)
      RICHARD THOMPSON FORD

      Here’s a description of one American city—worse than many, but still representative:

      Locals call the street the “Berlin Wall,” or the “barrier,” or the “Mason-Dixon Line.” It divides the suburban Grosse Pointe communities, which are among the most genteel towns anywhere, from the East Side of Detroit, which is poor and mostly black. The Detroit side is studded with abandoned cars, graffiti-covered schools, and burned out buildings. Two blocks away, within view, are neatly-clipped hedges and immaculate houses—a world of servants and charity balls, two car garages and expensive clothes. On the one side, says John Kelly, a...

    • 10 CREATING JUSTICE FOR THE POOR IN THE NEW METROPOLIS
      (pp. 237-256)
      MARGARET WEIR

      Poverty, in the public imagination and the academic literature alike, has long fixated on the system of “urban containment” that trapped the minority poor in low-income urban neighborhoods.¹ The face of poverty that became anchored in the American public mind was African-American, urban, and nonworking. The most voluble public debates singled out individual behavior as the cause of poverty. Transforming welfare into a temporary, work-oriented program became the cure. A less visible set of arguments did not blame the poor but rather the environment of the poor as the cause of poverty. Animated by concerns of fairness and equal opportunity,...

  9. CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. 257-258)
  10. INDEX
    (pp. 259-268)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 269-269)