Reconstructing Urban Regime Theory: Regulating Urban Politics in a Global Economy
Publication Year: 1997
Subject: Urban Politics & Policy
Urban regime theory has gained a dominant position in the literature on local politics in the United States and its use in comparative cross-national research despite its cited shortcomings. In Reconstructing Urban Regime Theory, editor Mickey Lauria presents a challenging argument for the need to reconceptualize urban regime's middle-level abstraction by interpreting it through the lens of the higher-level abstraction of regulationist theory. The noted contributors to this volume propose stronger conceptual linkages between local agents and institutions, regime transformation, and the restructuring of urban space. The blend of empirical and case-study chapters provide an excellent mix of theory and practice that makes Reconstructing Urban Regime Theory well suited to a broad spectrum of upper-level undergraduate courses covering urban studies, political science, sociology, and geography ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 2: Concrete Research, Urban Regimes, and Regulation Theory
- Chapter 3: Spatial Structures of Regulation and Urban Regimes
- Chapter 4: A Neo-Gramscian Approach to the Regulation of Urban Regimes: Accumulation Strategies, Hegemonic Projects, and Governance
- Chapter 5: City Politics in an Era of Globalization
- Chapter 6: Governance, Urban Regime Analysis, and the Politics of Local Economic Development
- Chapter 7: Regulation, Regime, and Practice in Urban Politics
- Chapter 8: Coalition, Market, and State: Postwar Development Politics in Boston
- Chapter 9: City Planning and the Postwar Regime in Philadelphia
- Chapter 10: Cleveland: The “Comeback City”: The Politics of Redevelopment and Sports Stadiums Amidst Urban Decline
- Chapter 11: Regulating Suburban Politics: “Suburban-Defense Transition,” Institutional Capacities, and Territorial Reorganization in Southern California
Part 4: Regulating Urban Regimes
Copyright © 1997 by Sage Publications, Inc.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Main entry under title:
Reconstructing urban regime theory: regulating urban politics in a global economy/edited by Mickey Lauria.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-7619-0150-7 (cloth: acid-free paper).—ISBN 0-7619-0151-5
(pbk.: acid-free paper)
1. Municipal government. 2. Municipal government—United States. 3. Local government. 4. Local government—United States.
I. Lauria, Mickey.
97 98 99 00 01 02 03 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Acquiring Editor: Catherine Rossbach
Production Editor: Diana E. Axelsen
Production Assistant: Karen Wiley
Typesetter/Designer: Marion S. Warren
Indexer: Jean Casalegno
Print Buyer: Anna Chin
The purpose of this project is to bring together scholars who have begun to write about the need for and advantages of conceptualizing urban politics within higher-level abstractions. Urban regime theory is the chosen perspective on urban politics precisely because it dispenses with the stalled debates between elite hegemony and pluralist interest group politics, between economic determinism and political machination, and between external and/or structural determinants and local and/or social construction. Rather, urban regime theory provides a robust conceptual framework that views these, on the one hand, as false dualisms and, on the other hand, as theoretically driven historical or empirical questions. The new urban politics literature in general, and urban regime theory in particular, has been criticized for relying solely on middle-range concepts and thus failing to interpret their contextual meaning via higher-level abstractions. In other words, their middle-level concepts are not theoretically well defined for the structure of capital and the role of the state.
The attraction of regulation theory is that it offers a way of linking changes in the economy to those in politics at a high level of abstraction. Here, the state, and local politics, are part of the mode of regulation within a particular regime of accumulation. But regulation theory has a tendency to underestimate the causal efficacy of local agents and institutions. Stronger conceptual linkages must be established between local agents and institutions, regime transformation, and the restructuring of urban space. Thus, the integration of the two approaches—the project of this book—appeared quite attractive.
In conceptualizing this edited volume, I decided to try to build an integrated collective project. Thus, the project began at the conceptualization stage with e-mail discussions about urban political economy, urban politics, and planning [Page ix]theory. Quite early, it became clear that two distinct projects were emerging: (a) reintegrating political economy and planning theory and (b) reconceptualizing urban regime theory within the context of a regulationist approach. The former project was developed as a paper session at the 37th Annual Conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (October 1995) and a symposium “Planning Theory and Political Economy” for the journal Planning Theory (No. 14, 1996). The latter project was developed as two paper sessions at the 26th Annual Meeting of the Urban Affairs Association (March 1996) and has birthed this edited book.
As organizer/editor, I collected individual queries, comments, and positions and bounced them back to a collection of interested scholars through an e-mail distribution list. After a few months of collecting and distributing comments, comments on comments, and so on, I requested abstracts of potential chapters for an edited volume. Unfortunately, not all who participated in these early discussions could find time in their schedules to produce chapters for the book. Regardless, I think it is appropriate to recognize the early contributions of Pierre Clavel, Susan Fainstein, Paul Knox, David Perry, Robert Whelan, and David Wilson.
After developing a book prospectus from the chapter abstracts and securing a book contract, I distributed the prospectus and a guide to chapter contributors with a selective bibliography to ensure a coherent focus. Although the chapters did not receive blind reviews and thus cannot be considered refereed, each chapter was reviewed by at least three other contributing authors1. The reviewers sent their comments directly to the contributing authors with copies to me. I should note that the contributor reviews were professional and provided invaluable guidance for the authors. Subsequently, as editor, I reviewed each chapter and the peer reviews and developed a suggested plan of revision for each contributor. Here I should note that the contributors responded openly and effectively to the suggested plan of revision. The goal of the contributor review process was not only to ensure quality control and provide me with more intellectual force from which to persuade contributing authors of the value of the suggested revisions but also to allow each reviewing contributor to read relevant/tangential chapters in the volume before revising their own contributions. The effect is a more coherent volume.Note
1. Realizing that this was an unusual and time-consuming process, I secured token monetary compensation for each contributing author ($100) as part of their chapter contract from Sage.
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About the Contributors[Page 275]
Robert A. Beauregard is Professor in the Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy at the New School for Social Research, where he teaches urban political economy and economic development. He has a Ph.D. in city and regional planning from Cornell University and previously taught at the University of Pittsburgh and Rutgers University. He was Harvey Perloff Visiting Professor in the Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of California, Los Angeles. His most recent book is Voices of Decline: The Postwar Fate of U.S. Cities.
Kevin R. Cox is Professor of Geography at Ohio State University and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Reading University. His research interests include the politics of local economic development, critical human geography, and the political economy of South Africa. He is the author of Location and Public Problems and Conflict and Power and Politics in the City, editor of Urbanization and Conflict in Market Societies, and coeditor of Conflict, Politics, and the Urban Scene and Behavioral Geography Revisited. His papers have appeared in numerous journals, including Acta Sociologica, Urban Studies, the Journal of Urban Affairs, the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Society and Space, Urban Geography, Political Geography, and Geografiska Annaler.
Marshall M. A. Feldman is Associate Professor of Community Planning at the University of Rhode Island. He also has taught at Cleveland State University; [Page 276]the University of California, Berkeley; San Francisco State University; the University of California, Santa Cruz; and the University of Texas. He holds a Ph.D. in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles, and received a B.S. and a Masters of Engineering (Industrial) from Cornell University. His research is on housing and economic development and more generally on urbanization and urban political economy. He has written in these areas and on planning education, planning theory, and methodology.
Mark Goodwin is Professor of Human Geography in the Institute of Earth Studies at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. He received his doctorate from the London School of Economics. He has published widely in the fields of urban politics, urban geography, and regional change. He is the joint author of two books on the local state and local politics, Housing States and Localities and The Local State and Uneven Development. He has two books forthcoming on urban change. He is also a joint author of Practising Human Geography, which explores the construction and interpretation of geographical data. He has directed several research projects; the latest, with Joe Painter, examines changes in the structures and practices of local governance.
Cynthia Horan is Visiting Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Government at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. She previously taught at the University of Toronto. She earned a Ph.D. in urban studies and planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has published articles in the Journal of Urban Affairs, Polity, and Research in Political Economy. She is currently writing a book on the politics of Boston's postwar economic transformation. Her research interests include urban political economy, state theory, and racial politics.
Bob Jessop is Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University, England. Previously, he taught in the Department of Government at Essex University. He has written extensively on theories of the state, the political economy of Thatcherism, the regulation approach, postsocialist economies, and social theory. He is currently completing a research project on the transformation of local governance in Britain and continuing work on regionalism in East Asia. His books include The Capitalist State, Nicos Poulantzas, Thatcherism: A Tale of Two Nations, State Theory, and The Politics of Flexibility. His work on the regulation approach and governance has appeared in Economy and Society and various edited collections.
[Page 277]Andrew E. G. Jonas is Lecturer in the School of Geography and Earth Resources, University of Hull, United Kingdom, and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences, University of California, Riverside. His research interests are U.S. urban policy and politics, labor and community responses to deindustrialization, and conservation policy in California. He has published articles in Economic Geography, Society and Space, Journal of Urban Affairs, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Urban Geography, Political Geography, Antipode, and Area. He currently has a 2-year NSF project on habitat conservation planning and urban development in Southern California and is coediting a book on critical perspectives on the city as a growth machine.
W. Dennis Keating is Professor of Urban Planning and Law, and Associate Dean of the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. He has a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. His latest books are Revitalizing Urban Neighborhoods, Cleveland: A Metropolitan Reader, and The Suburban Racial Dilemma. He is currently editing books on distressed central city areas and rent control.
Mickey Lauria is Professor of Urban and Regional Planning and Director of the Division of Urban Research and Policy Studies in the College of Urban and Public Affairs at the University of New Orleans. His earned his A.B. in political science and geography from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in geography from the University of Minnesota. He is coeditor of the Journal of Planning Education and Research. He has published articles on urban redevelopment, urban politics, and community-based development organizations in planning, geography, and urban studies journals. His recent local research interests also include patterns and impacts of housing foreclosures, historical analysis of preservation conflicts, and planning issues involving race and class in New Orleans.
Christopher Leo is Professor of Political Science and Coordinator of Urban Studies at the University of Winnipeg. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Economy from the University of Toronto. Recent articles have appeared in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Journal of Urban Affairs, The Changing Canadian Metropolis: Contemporary Perspectives, and Canadian Metropolitics. Recent and current research deals with the politics of development in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Toronto; [Page 278]the politics of growth management in Portland, Oregon; comparison of European and North American urban politics; and the impact of global change on local politics.
Joe Painter is Lecturer in Geography at the University of Durham. He received his B.A. from Cambridge University and his Ph.D. from the Open University. He was previously Lecturer in Geography at the University of Wales, Lampeter. He is the author of several articles on regulation theory, urban politics, and the restructuring of the local state and of the book Politics, Geography, and “Political Geography.” He is currently completing a major research project on the changing role of the British local state.