All Forum Posts

A Note from the Editors

June 18, 2020 // 0 Comments

We have all been rocked by the murder of George Floyd. Transformational change to policing in cities throughout the world has been demanded for decades, but the racism, excessive force, and unaccountable behavior have persisted alongside discriminatory practices in other areas of urban life - work, housing, health, education - that have long denied life and livelihoods to Black and Indigenous people of color. This time must be different. As we know better than most, truly transformational change is not achieved without a real understanding of the problem or potential solutions. Our community of urban scholars has long been engaged in the work needed to make clear how these issues harm our society, and most especially people of color. From time to time, we will highlight research from UAR to help your efforts to push our knowledge forward and make this time different. Read More

Culture Wars and City Politics, Revisited: Local Councils and the Australia Day Controversy

August 5, 2020 // 0 Comments

By Rachel Busbridge (Australian Catholic University) and Mark Chou (Australian Catholic University) | The so-called ‘culture wars’ – conflicts between progressives and conservatives over morality, values and identity – are often considered purely national in scope. When James Davison Hunter first popularized the concept in the early 1990s, he had in mind a clear vision of an all-encompassing conflict between the forces of orthodoxy and progressivism over the ‘meaning of America’. Yet the fiercest manifestations of culture war conflicts very often occur in localities, turning ostensibly national debates into issues that cities and towns have to deal with. Indeed, recent events – the murder of George Floyd, Black Lives Matter protests, the COVID-19 pandemic – have only served to underscore the increasingly localized dimensions of culture war skirmishes and the challenges they present for local and municipal governance. Read More

Characterizing the Non-linear Relationship Between Capacity and Collaboration in Urban Energy and Climate Initiatives

July 21, 2020 // 0 Comments

By Rachel M. Krause (University of Kansas), Christopher V. Hawkins (University of Central Florida), and Angela Y. S. Park (Kansas State University) | In the wake of the United States’ initiation of its formal withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, the continued commitment of city governments is serving, for some, as a beacon of hope. However, although there are many examples of cities achieving significant reductions in their greenhouse gas emissions, individual local governments cannot generate the necessary scale of changes alone. The emphasis that both scholarly and practitioner-focused studies place on understanding the dynamics that facilitate successful inter-jurisdictional and inter-organizational collaborations around local climate and energy objectives reflect this recognition. Read More

New Journal Impact Scores Out Now

July 6, 2020 // 0 Comments

We are pleased to announce that our two-year Journal Impact Factor score has increased to 2.192 and our five-year impact score increased to 2.551. This is the fourth consecutive year our scores have increased and these are our best numbers yet. Thank you to everyone who supports UAR as an author, reviewer, or reader! Read More

Exploitative Revenues, Law Enforcement, and the Quality of Government Service

June 23, 2020 // 0 Comments

By Rebecca Goldstein (Harvard University), Michael W. Sances (University of Memphis), and Hye Young You (New York University) | One aspect of recent criticism of police departments has been centered on the aggressive imposition and collection of fees, fines, and civilly forfeited assets. The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) investigation of the Ferguson, Missouri police department, for example, revealed that a key driver of the behavior of the Ferguson police was the desire to generate municipal revenue by issuing traffic tickets and imposing fees. More broadly, a growing body of evidence indicates that local police departments are being used to provide revenue for municipalities by imposing and collecting fees, fines, and asset forfeitures: Census of Governments data from 2012 shows that about 80 percent of American cities with law enforcement institutions derive at least some revenue from fees, fines, and asset forfeitures, with about 6 percent of cities collecting more than 10 percent of their revenues from fines in 2012 (Sances and You 2017). Are the police engaged in this fee and fine collection at the expense of other important activities? Read More