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The Work of Cities

Susan E. Clarke
Gary L. Gaile
Volume: 1
Copyright Date: 1998
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 304
  • Book Info
    The Work of Cities
    Book Description:

    Are cities obsolete relics of an earlier era? In this pathbreaking book, Susan E. Clarke and Gary L. Gaile contend that contrary to this conventional wisdom, cities are growing in importance. Far from irrelevant, local governments are vital political arenas for the new work of cities-empowering their citizens to adapt and serve as catalysts for the global economy.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8782-4
    Subjects: Economics

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xvi)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-16)

    To many of us, local economic development is an arcane world of revenue bonds, roads, dubious revitalization projects, and, even worse, corrupt deals over tax breaks for private investors. But in the 1990s this agenda includes world trade centers in Durham and Lubbock, “internationally friendly” infrastructure and thirty sister cities in Portland, training software specialists in Ann Arbor and Stamford, and setting up public-private partnerships for telecommunications in cities like Milpitas. What is going on?

    It’s simple—cities are adapting to restructuring and globalization trends with a range of policy choices unanticipated by scholars and unheard of just a few...

  5. 1 Transcending Scale: Nationalism, Globalism, Localism
    (pp. 17-36)

    In this chapter we trace the emergence of a new geography of value-added production processes by drawing on Robert Reich’s framework inThe Work of Nations(1991). Reich’s narrative presents an economic and political history of the last half century as the United States transformed from an industrial giant to a postindustrial economy situated in a global web. In a sense, the telling and retelling of this transformational story has become a marker of the millennium (see Drucker, 1994; Krugman, 1995; Porter, 1990).

    To Reich, this story is one of new production processes and changing employment structures that contribute to...

  6. 2 The Changing Work of Cities
    (pp. 37-54)

    From an era of dynamic central cities that were homes to the national economic champions, we have entered an era characterized by multilocational production processes, high value-added activities, a new international division of labor, and the growing significance of human capital resources. Here we consider the proposition that these broad economic transformations are accompanied by equally sweeping geographic shifts and some devolution of state authority across scales. To assess this new political context for local policy making, we consider evidence of hollowing-out processes, or state devolution trends, in which state authority is shifting from the national arena to subnational scales....

  7. 3 The Era of Entrepreneurial Cities
    (pp. 55-88)

    In American cities, local officials face continuing imperatives to pursue local economic development activities, but with problematic authority and resources. Local economic health is shaped by national and international investment decisions over which local officials have little control. These external constraints and opportunities are likely to persist. Simultaneously, local officials face fiscal pressures and competing demands for local resources. On the one hand, they have a real stake in sustaining and enhancing local economic development processes because of their dependence on private investment for public revenues. On the other hand, they need to satisfy citizen demands for services as well...

  8. 4 Context and Policy Effectiveness
    (pp. 89-106)

    Our fourth proposition is that there is no “silver bullet” for cities seeking to enhance their economic well-being, largely because of their contextual differences. As the policy clusters reveal, different policy paths are possible. Local officials choose diverse paths, in part because their constitutional, economic, and human capital situations vary, but also in response to political configurations at the local level.

    Some American cities fare better than others in meeting the challenges of a changing economic and political setting, even though they face similar constraints. As we demonstrated in the preceding chapter, the emerging pattern of policy responses seems substantively...

  9. 5 Cities at Work: Cleveland and Jacksonville
    (pp. 107-150)

    Undertaking the transition to a global era involved more than changing local policy orientations. As cities struggled to adapt to the changing nature of competition in a global context, many began to rethink their arrangements for making and carrying out economic development decisions. The emergence of public-private partnerships is one of the more obvious organizational aspects of these new considerations (Harvey, 1989; Eisinger, 1988). This partnership focus does not, however, capture the significant transformations in the institutional organization of the local state in the last decade. These transformations go beyond partnership rhetoric to encompass governance strategies in the face of...

  10. 6 Different Paths: Syracuse and Tacoma
    (pp. 151-180)

    Different frameworks and development paths are embraced by two cities where democratic logic persists: Syracuse and Tacoma. These cities were active in federal development programs; each has a history of past entrepreneurial strategy use, each has had to rethink its orientations and institutional frameworks as national funds have become scarce.

    As the Cleveland case illustrates, the institutional frameworks devised for economic development decision making structure the choices likely to be made and the voices heard. They do so by setting out the rules of the game for negotiations and determining the arenas in which decisions on economic development policy are...

  11. 7 The Fourth Wave: Global-Local Links and Human Capital
    (pp. 181-208)

    Up to this point, our empirical data and case studies show that cities are more active and salient as economic development actors than the initial globalization models anticipated. They also choose more entrepreneurial and divergent paths than conventional political economy models would suggest. To some extent, American cities appear to be complementing their historic land-site development policy orientation with a business- and enterprise-led development strategy more familiar in European cities (Begg and Whyatt, 1994). Given the territorial biases of American local politics, this is of some interest. Other studies confirm this diversity and complexity in local economic development choices (Elkins,...

  12. 8 Reinventing Citizenship
    (pp. 209-214)

    Reich’s (1991)The Work of Nationsprovides a compelling starting point for thinking about the consequences of economic and social changes in American society for cities and citizenship. In Reich’s account, several trends stand out:

    The U.S. economy is being reshaped by trends toward globalization and new production systems featuring flexible organization and high value-added processes.

    These new forms of economic organization underscore the importance of human capital resources but also create stark differences among workers and citizens and increased social segregation.

    These new economic and social conditions reduce Americans’ sense of a shared future and transform the meaning of...

  13. Appendix A: Spatial Statistics: Methodology for Explicitly Incorporating and Controlling Regional Effects
    (pp. 215-224)
  14. Appendix B: Local Economic Development Strategies Relying on Nonfederal Resources
    (pp. 225-232)
  15. Notes
    (pp. 233-252)
  16. Bibliography
    (pp. 253-274)
  17. Index
    (pp. 275-282)
  18. Back Matter
    (pp. 283-283)