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Remaking New York

Remaking New York: Primitive Globalization and the Politics of Urban Community

William Sites
Volume: 12
Copyright Date: 2003
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 288
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  • Book Info
    Remaking New York
    Book Description:

    William Sites proposes a new perspective on politics, globalization, and the city through the concept of primitive globalization, identifying a pattern of reactive politics that facilitates a damaging type of international integration. Sites examines the transformation of New York City since the 1970s, focusing on the logic of political action at national, local, and neighborhood levels.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-9483-9
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Introduction: Globalism and the City
    (pp. ix-xxvi)

    This book examines how urban politics and community action influence the development of an American city in a global age. Through a series of analyses of New York City that move between the local, the national, and the transnational, I attempt to provide a counterframe to accounts of globalization as a singular, structural phenomenon. These “globalist” accounts emphasize an economic logic of transformation; at each level, neighborhoods, cities, and even nation-states yield to market currents that operate under a variety of names—gentrification, reurbanization, globalization—but which are seen to remake communities with a similar disregard for politics, history, or...

  5. 1 Primitive Globalization? State, Economy, and Urban Development
    (pp. 1-30)

    Debates over globalization—perhaps like the world this concept describes—often appear to be confining and fragmented alike. In certain frameworks, a sweeping notion of globalization attributes a host of recent social developments to forces of international integration. Along with economic and cultural convergence, it is implied, comes the eclipse of state and politics, or at least a major shift in political influence from national to international arenas. In response, challenges to globalism assert that current levels of economic integration are hardly unprecedented and tend, in any case, to be too easily overstated. Faced with enduring cross-national differences in an...

  6. 2 Building an Urban Neoliberalism: The Long Rebirth of New York
    (pp. 31-68)

    During the year preceding September 11,2001, New York’s status as premier American city seemed firmly set in place. Everyone loved New York. Tourists, immigrants, investors—from all over the world, people and money appeared to be migrating to a city once seen as declining, dangerous, and ungovernable. Even Americans, who long had shunned the place as dirty and deviant, were flocking there: for the year 2000, the city claimed a ranking behind only Orlando, Florida, the home of Disney World, as the nation’s most visited destination.¹ Of course, the tragedy of the following year elicited extraordinary sympathies from observers everywhere,...

  7. 3 Public Action: Gentrification and the Lower East Side
    (pp. 69-100)

    In the course of New York’s late-twentieth-century economic ascent, nothing was more dramatic than the changes experienced by so many of its neighborhoods. From the 1970s revival of Manhattan’s faded middle-class areas to the more recent upscaling of working-class districts in Brooklyn and Queens, neighborhood gentrification was no longer seen as anomalous or uncertain but as a core dynamic of urban life, practically inevitable.

    Manhattan’s Lower East Side stands as an especially striking example of gentrification, both in the startling character of its onset and in the dramatic transformation that ensued. For most of the century, this once storied immigrant...

  8. 4 Urban Movements, Local Control: Fighting over the Neighborhood
    (pp. 101-136)

    New York’s Lower East Side emerged for a time as a crucible of resistance to the global city. Beginning in the early 1980s, community groups organized large numbers of residents, led angry street marches, and generated considerable pressure on developers and city officials to address issues of displacement and homelessness. Several of these community organizations soon turned themselves into housing developers, launching a number of innovative projects for lower-income residents. Other groups stayed a more confrontational course, culminating in the refusal of squatters and homeless occupants of Tompkins Square Park to make way for “the city and its landlords.”¹ For...

  9. 5 Beyond Primitive Globalization: Policy, Activism, and the Metropolis
    (pp. 137-164)

    This study has claimed that politics and state policies influence processes of economic development in a global age. Preceding chapters supported this contention by examining the logic of state action and urban development in the United States at different levels over the course of a twenty-five-year period. The intention has been to locate—through highly contextualized analyses of the revival of New York City, of the gentrification of the Lower East Side, and of the evolving strategies of neighborhood-based movement factions within the Lower East Side—the politics of globalization at multiple scales of the U.S. urban system.

    The central...

  10. Postscript: Rebuilding after 9/11
    (pp. 165-172)

    The events of September 11, 2001, appeared to reinforce, at least at first, the global identities of New York and Washington, D.C. The specific targets of the attacks were important symbols: the World Trade Center represented the foremost urban icon of international capitalism, the Pentagon a central command post for the projection of military force to all corners of the world. At another, more human level, the victims of these assaults—people who hailed not only from many neighborhoods but from many lands—embodied the truly international character of the modern metropolis. In the immediate wake of the attacks, questions...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 173-228)
  12. Select Bibliography
    (pp. 229-240)
  13. Index
    (pp. 241-260)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 261-261)