Annette Steinhacker, Loyola University, Chicago
Justin Phillips, Columbia University
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
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?
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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