Reconstructing City Politics: Alternative Economic Development and Urban Regimes

Almost two decades of research in U.S. city politics has produced a compelling empirical account of the nature of urban governance revolving around the alliance of business interests and local public officials. In Reconstructing City Politics, author David L. Imbroscio urges that urban political economy must now move forward beyond the question of “what is?” to a consideration of “what might be?” He systematically poses the possibilities for reconstructing the nature of contemporary city politics, while integrating a wealth of innovative urban analysis. To bring about this reconstruction, Imbroscio explores three comprehensive alternative urban economic development strategies–entrepreneurial mercantilism, community based economic development, and municipal enterprise. He considers whether these three strategies are likely to be effective for bringing about urban economic vitality and whether it is feasible for cities to pursue these efforts in the current political economic context. By addressing these questions, Imbroscio is able to reach conclusions about the possibilities for a successful and sustainable reconstruction of U.S. city politics. This important volume will be vital for professionals and and researchers in urban planning, urban studies, urban and regional economics, as well as urban politics.

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