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 as well as a rich resource for academics and researchers in these fields.
Conceptualizing the Regulation of Urban Regimes
In Part I, the authors grapple with the currently understood deficiencies of the regulationist approach and urban regime theory, then attempt to resolve new problems inherent in a complementary synthesis.
Although rehearsing some cogent criticisms of the concept “mode of regulation,” Goodwin and Painter argue that this does not fatally undermine the regulationist project. They argue for a methodological approach that focuses on the ebb and flow of regulatory processes and practices rather than on the construction of static or crystallized modes of regulation and stable regimes of accumulation. Their regulation theory, as a method, seeks to account for the spatial and temporal uneven reproduction of capitalist social relations. For Goodwin and Painter, social practices ...