This reference is a comprehensive study guide to the city. The text explains and evaluates the key ideas, informed by the latest research, adding the necessary historical context to situate the student in the literature and the essential debates. Organized in four sections The SAGE Companion to the City provides a systematic A-Z to understanding the city that explains the interrelations between society, culture, and economy.

Politics and Policy

Politics and Policy

Politics and policy

This Chapter

  • Argues that city politics is not a simple process where an elite takes control, but involves complex processes of coalition-making, brokering and electioneering
  • Underlines the importance of space in political processes by considering the way that political territories are reconfigured to serve particular interests
  • Suggests that urban theory is often too monolithic and unbending to provide a nuanced understanding of city politics


Urban areas and cities are often described as engines – sites of economic development and resource consumption and production that drive their wider regional or national economies. To calibrate these engines requires a series of policy interventions, investment decisions, and ordering mechanisms empowering or disempowering various groups, classes, elites or individuals. However, it is not always clear ...

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