Friday, September 30, 2011

APSA Urban Politics Call for Proposals

Urban Politics
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Annette Steinhacker, Loyola University, Chicago
Justin Phillips, Columbia University

The Call

Urban politics is particularly relevant to a conference organized around the theme of Representation and Renewal.  Cities have, for decades, confronted the difficulties posed by globalization and the movement of manufacturing jobs and middle class residents from urban centers. After some promising revitalization in the late 1990s and early 2000s with increased immigrant populations and economic growth in service and professional fields, central cities again are facing a time of fiscal and economic challenges.  The Great Recession has strained municipal finances and service provision, while many cities along the Gulf Coast continue to deal with the ravages of Hurricane Katrina.  State budget deficits are disrupting municipal finances and straining inter-governmental relationships.

Cities confront these and other challenges in the context of racial, religious, and economic diversity.  This diversity presents its own set of opportunities and challenges.  While diversity is often noted for aiding in the innovation necessary for economic renewal, it may also lead to greater tensions in the civic and political realms.  Immigrant entrepreneurs may revitalize city neighborhoods and provide needed small businesses, but create new challenges in political representation.  Strategies to promote renewal and representation may co-exist uneasily in larger cities.  We invite papers that address these issues.  How have cities understood and responded to the need for renewal? Which groups and interests have been best represented when it comes to developing political and policy responses to the challenges of globalization and the economic downturn? What role have inter-governmental relations played in this process? Why have some governments crafted more successful responses than others?

In addition to papers addressing this year’s theme directly, we welcome those that focus on other central concerns in the study of urban politics.  This includes, but is certainly not limited to, municipal institutional reform, urban economic inequality and its consequences, local elections, immigration and minority politics, and the politics of land use.  This call for papers welcomes a diverse array of methodologies and papers in either an American or comparative context.

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