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Just because Milwaukee isn't Manhattan, doesn't mean that those urban centers face completely unique challenges. Through effective comparative analysis of key issues in urban studies—how city managers share power with mayors, how spending policies affect economic development, and how school politics impact education policy—students can clearly see how scholars discern patterns and formulate conclusions to offer theoretical and practical insights from which all cities can benefit. Pelissero brings together an impressive team of contributors to explore variation among cities through case studies and cross-sectional analyses. Each author synthesizes the field's seminal literature while explaining how urban leaders and their constituents grapple with everything from city council politics to conflict and cooperation among minority groups. Authors identify both key trends and gaps in the scholarship, and help set the research agenda for the years to come. Lively case material will hook your students while the accessible presentation of empirical evidence make this reader the comprehensive and sophisticated text you demand.

Mayoral Politics
Mayoral politics

Delineating the role, the powers, or the impact of U.S. mayors is not easy. As Edward C. Banfield noted almost forty years ago, the variations among cities in terms of demographics, economics, governmental structure, and relationship to state government are extensive (Banfield 1963). Hence, generalizing about one aspect—such as the role of a mayor—can be difficult, given the other variables that come into play.

Mayors also present an “n of 1,” one case at one time in one place, similar to that of governors or presidents. Because cities vary in numerous ways, cross-national or time series quantitative studies concerning mayoral politics are difficult to conduct. Another major emphasis in urban political study in recent years also has worked against analyses of mayoral activity, ...

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