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Bias & Change in Urban & Metropolitan Politics: USA

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Bias & Change in Urban & Metropolitan Politics: USA. The Bias of Political Organization. Urban political structures not neutral Examples: Ethnic leaders viewed civil service reforms as “the curse of the nation” Metropolitan governments opposed by African-American leaders

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the bias of political organization
The Bias of Political Organization
  • Urban political structures not neutral
  • Examples:
    • Ethnic leaders viewed civil service reforms as “the curse of the nation”
    • Metropolitan governments opposed by African-American leaders
    • Bussing in school districts opposed by ethnics and suburban whites
the bias of political organization1
The Bias of Political Organization
  • Zoning regulations

often used to exclude poor

common themes of urban politics in the united states
Common Themes of Urban Politics in the United States
  • First Theme
    • Participants in the political process anticipate that major changes in:
      • governmental structures,
      • boundaries,
      • decision making processes
    • Produce policy changes that would be for or against their interests
common themes of urban politics in the united states1
Common Themes of Urban Politics in the United States
  • Second Theme
    • Most important urban political issues now involve more than the central cities
      • suburbs & the exurbs
      • metropolitan-level structures of government
      • federal government
    • Contemporary politics of the central city and the entire metropolitan region are intertwined, not separate
common themes of urban politics in the united states2
Common Themes of Urban Politics in the United States
  • Third Theme
    • Key issues at stake involved changes in either
      • channels through which citizens would have political access to key decision matters
    • Or direct social access to important amenities of urban life
    • Examples:
      • quality education
      • housing
      • transportation
common themes of urban politics in the united states3
Common Themes of Urban Politics in the United States
  • Fourth Theme
    • Federal government has become a key participant in urban and metropolitan politics
    • Washington influences decisions on housing, education and intra-urban transportation
    • Above issues previously were viewed as exclusively local prerogatives
the nature of change in metropolitan politics latin america
The Nature of Change in Metropolitan Politics: Latin America
  • Abrupt change imposed from above (the national level)
    • Change in rules of the game – as opposed to change in government
    • Fidel Castro’s abolition of the mayor-council system (modeled on the US.) of government for Havana
    • Reorganization in Buenos Aires following the constitutional reform of 1994
    • Creation of the Metropolitan District in Caracas upon adoption of a new constitution (1999)
the nature of change in metropolitan politics of the united states
The Nature of Change in Metropolitan Politics of the United States
  • Incrementalism has predominated
    • Three historical periods of urban/metropolitan politics
      • Age of political machines
      • Progressive movement
      • Period of the dependent city
two watershed presidencies post world war ii
Two Watershed Presidencies(post World War II)
  • Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-69): bringing the federal government in (Great Society)
  • Ronald W. Reagan (1981-89) distancing the federal government from the cities
contemporary local government fragmentation u s total 87 453
Contemporary Local Government Fragmentation (U.S. Total 87,453)
  • Other Regular Subdivisions
    • Town/Township
    • School District
contemporary local government fragmentation u s total 87 4531
Contemporary Local Government Fragmentation (U.S. Total 87,453)
  • Special District
    • Tri-State Port Authority
    • Services Metropolitan New York (N.Y.; N. New Jersey; W. Connecticut)
bias change and political power critical conceptual clarifications
Bias, Change, and Political Power: Critical Conceptual Clarifications
  • Political Power: the ability to influence public decisions
  • Critical Dimensions of political power
    • Context of Power
    • Structure of Power
  • Public Power and Private power
tradition of privatism in urban united states
Tradition of Privatism in Urban United States
  • Quaker Philadelphia & Puritan Boston
    • Priority on individual and private sector
    • Priority to the leadership in the public sector
  • Sam Warner: The Private City (Philadelphia
changing emphasis private vs public sectors
Changing Emphasis:Private vs Public Sectors
  • Priority to private sector following the Civil War
    • Wealth increasingly concentrated in 1890’s
    • Wilson administration (1913 – 1920)
      • Role of government increased
      • Heavy handed national security policies leads to election of conservative Republican Warren G. Harding
  • Social and economic Darwinism Ascendant in 1920’s
punctuated expansion of role of federal government
Punctuated Expansion of Role of Federal Government
  • New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Great Society of Lyndon Johnson
  • Reagan Revolution resurrects support for smaller government
    • Government problem – not solution
    • Bush I and Clinton continue the policies
    • More leeway to capitalist institutions under George W. Bush
  • Differential Impacts of Privatization
    • Affluent
    • Less fortunate
barak obama
Barak Obama
  • Concern with the negative consequences of Bush administration’s reliance on private sector
  • Affinity for plight of underclass in the cities
  • Greater confidence in the capabilities of government
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