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.

Spatial Structures of Regulation and Urban Regimes

Spatial Structures of Regulation and Urban Regimes

Spatial structures of regulation and urban regimes
Marshall M. A.Feldman

We cannot create a more perspicacious urban political economy simply by combining urban regime and regulation theories. They differ in their levels of abstraction, spatial scopes, purposes, and objects of analysis. Regime theory is about “development politics” (Stone & Sanders, 1987) and how governing coalitions, which businesspeople often dominate, shape local urban development policy. Regime theory might therefore be better labeled economic politics than political economics. Regulation theory, in contrast, focuses on broad epochs in capitalist history and the large-scale regulatory processes, including a society's “culture, manners, myths, and dreams” (Barbrook, 1990, p. 92), that account for “the variability of economic and social dynamics in space and time” (Boyer, ...

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