You are here

Urban Politics
Share

Urban Politics
A Reader

Edited by:


January 2016 | 568 pages | CQ Press
Urban Politics: A Reader examines the evolving structure of political power in American cities. It reveals how changes in society relate to the global and national economy, immigration and internal migration, racial and ethnic transition, and how technological advances affect city politics. The text illuminates the paradox that while we are living in an era of increasing globalization, politics at the local level is more important than ever. The collection of classic and contemporary readings by respected scholars, as well as politicians, journalists, and activists, enables readers to hear multiple voices explain how and why city politics works while assuring a thorough encounter with the rich variety of racial, ethnic, cultural, economic, and ideological perspectives that constitute the urban mosaic. Editor Stephen J. McGovern integrates material not commonly found in urban politics texts while considering a wide array of large and small cities throughout the United States. The reader includes an introductory essay at the beginning of each chapter that provides historical and conceptual context and a section following each chapter that invites students to reflect on how urban politics affects pressing policy issues facing city residents today. Taken together, Urban Politics: A Reader deepens our understanding of how cities are governed, nurtures thoughtful discussion and debate, and cultivates a concern for the vitality and well-being of urban places.

 
Chapter 1: Cities in a Global Era
Introduction  
1-1 Richard C. Longworth, “Urban America: U.S. Cities in the Global Era”  
1-2 Alan Ehrenhalt, “The Great Inversion”  
1-3 Alan Mallach, “The Uncoupling of the Economic City: Increasing Spatial and Economic Polarization in American Older Cities”  
Conclusion  
 
Part I: THE FORMATION OF URBAN POLITICS
 
Chapter 2: Politics in the Preindustrial City
Introduction  
2-1 Alan Tully, “The Ruling Elite”  
2-2 Sam Bass Warner Jr., “The Environment of Private Opportunity”  
2-3 Daniel J. Boorstin, “The Businessman as City Booster"  
Conclusion  
 
Chapter 3: Machine Politics
Introduction  
3-1 William L. Riorden, “To Hold Your District: Study Human Nature and Act Accordin’”  
3-2 Robert Merton, “The Latent Functions of the Machine”  
3-3 Alexander Callow, “That Impudent Autocrat”  
Public Policy Applications: The Administration of City Government  
Conclusion  
 
Chapter 4: Reform Politics
Introduction  
4-1 Andrew D. White, “The Government of American Cities”  
4-2 Jacob A. Riis, “Genesis of the Tenement”  
4-3 Stanley Schultz, “The Engineered Metropolis”  
4-4 Samuel P. Hays, “The Politics of Reform in Municipal Government in the Progressive Era”  
Conclusion  
 
PART II: URBAN POLITICS UNDER STRESS
 
Chapter 5: Suburbanization and the Hollowing of the City
Introduction  
5-1 Kenneth T. Jackson, “The Loss of Community in Metropolitan America”  
5-2 Peter Dreier, John H. Mollenkopf, and Todd Swanstrom, “The Roads Not Taken: How Federal Policies Promote Economic Segregation and Suburban Sprawl”  
5-3 Michael N. Danielson, “Suburban Autonomy”  
5-4 Arnold R. Hirsch, “The Second Ghetto and the Dynamics of Neighborhood Change”  
Conclusion  
 
Chapter 6: Deindustrialization and the Rise of the Postindustrial City
Introduction  
6-1 Thomas Sugrue, “‘The Damning Mark of False Prosperities’: The Deindustrialization of Detroit”  
6-2 Jon C. Teaford, “The Problem Perceived”  
6-3 Joel Rast, “Creating a Unified Business Elite: The Origins of the Chicago Central Area Committee”  
6-4 Guian A. McKee, “Liberals, Race, and Jobs in Postwar Philadelphia”  
Conclusion  
 
Chapter 7: Race, Protest, and Backlash
Introduction  
7-1 Stokely Carmichael and Charles V. Hamilton, “Black Power: Its Needs and Substance”  
7-2 Bayard Rustin, “From Protest to Politics: The Future of the Civil Rights Movement”  
7-3 Jonathan Rieder, “The Fenced Land” and “The Lost People”  
Conclusion  
 
Chapter 8: Crisis
Introduction  
8-1 Paul S. O’Hara, “‘The Very Model of Urban Decay’: Outsiders’ Narratives of Industry and Urban Decline in Gary, Indiana”  
8-2 Jonathan Kozol, “Children of the Invincible City: Camden, New Jersey”  
8-3 Paul Peterson, “The Interests of the Limited City”  
8-4 Carl Abbott, “Urbanizing the South”  
Conclusion  
 
PART III: THE POLITICS OF URBAN REVITALIZATION
 
Chapter 9: Cities in a Federal System
Introduction  
9-1 Tracy Neumann, “Privatization, Devolution, and Jimmy Carter’s National Urban Policy”  
9-2 Peter Eisinger, “City Politics in the Era of Federal Devolution”  
9-3 Karen M. Paget, “Can Cities Escape Political Isolation?”  
9-4 Carl Abbott, “The Portland Region: Where City and Suburbs Talk to Each Other—and Often Agree”  
Conclusion  
 
Chapter 10: Grassroots Activism
Introduction  
10-1 Saul D. Alinsky, Excerpts from Reveille for Radicals  
10-2 Mark R. Warren, “A Theology of Organizing: From Alinsky to the Modern IAF”  
10-3 Michael B. Katz, “Why Don’t American Cities Burn Very Often?”  
Conclusion  
 
Chapter 11: Regime Politics
Introduction  
11-1 Clarence N. Stone, “Urban Regimes: A Research Perspective” and “Conclusion"  
11-2 Raphael J. Sonenshein, “Conclusions and Implications: Toward a New Contract for Biracial Politics”  
11-3 Jason Hackworth, “The Public-Private Partnership”  
11-4 Paul Kantor and H. V. Savitch, “Can Politicians Bargain with Business? A Theoretical and Comparative Perspective on Urban Development”  
Conclusion  
 
PART IV: CHANGING DYNAMICS OF URBAN POLITICS
 
Chapter 12: Race and Ethnicity in Contemporary Urban Politics
Introduction  
12-1 Andra Gillespie, “Meet the New Class: Theorizing Young Black Leadership in a ‘Postracial’ Era”  
12-2 Adolph Reed Jr., “Demobilization in the New Black Political Regime: Ideological Capitulation and Radical Failure in the Post-Segregation Era”  
12-3 Arnold R. Hirsch and A. Lee Levert, “The Katrina Conspiracies: The Problem of Trust in Rebuilding an American City”  
Conclusion  
 
Chapter 13: Immigration and Contemporary Urban Politics
Introduction  
13-1 Audrey Singer, “Contemporary Immigrant Gateways in Historical Perspective”  
13-2 Domenic Vitiello, “The Politics of Immigration and Suburban Revitalization: Divergent Responses in Adjacent Pennsylvania Towns”  
13-3 Zoltan Hajnal and Jessica Trounstine, “What Underlies Urban Politics? Race, Class, Ideology, Partisanship, and the Urban Vote”  
Conclusion  
 
Part V: VISIONS OF URBAN POLITICS TODAY
 
Chapter 14: Contemporary Approaches to Urban Governance
Introduction  
14-1 Larry Bennett, “The Mayor among His Peers: Interpreting Richard M. Daley”  
14-2 Stephen Goldsmith, “The Story of America’s Cities” and “Making a Market”  
14-3 Julian Brash, “Running Government like a Business”  
14-4 Thad Williamson, “Justice, the Public Sector, and Cities: Relegitimating the Activist State”  
Conclusion  

“A major strength of Urban Politics: A Reader is the retention of the historical origins of urban politics while at the same time balancing the contemporary relevance of urban governance. I particularly like the book’s focus on the debate about power in American cities, and McGovern’s choice to highlight the significance of smaller cities in understanding urban politics is an added bonus.”

Linda Trautman
Ohio University

“The collection of readings in Urban Politics: A Reader provides a rich set of insights into the political forces that influence the shape and pace of urban development.  The integration of writings from politicians and journalists sprinkled throughout are well done, and their perspectives can shed a good deal of light on urban issues.”

Petra Doan
Florida State University

“McGovern’s Urban Politics: A Reader embraces the fundamental concepts, theories, and themes that guide the study of urban politics. It is complementary to other urban politics texts, comprehensive for undergraduate study, well organized, and long overdue.”

Dana D. Dyson
University of Michigan-Flint
Key features

KEY FEATURES:

  • Classic and contemporary readings provide a rich account of power and politics in American cities organized around five themes: 
    • the formation of city politics; 
    • city politics under stress; 
    • the politics of urban revitalization; 
    • the changing dynamics of urban politics; and 
    • visions of contemporary urban politics.
  • Introductory essays provide historical, conceptual, and theoretical context for the readings, along with guidance for further reading for those who wish to pursue more specialized inquiry.
  • Multiple voices presented within selected readings ensure a broad representation of viewpoints essential to critical learning.  

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1


Preview this book

For instructors

Select a Purchasing Option


Paperback
ISBN: 9781506311197
$86.00