progressive politics

Progressive Urbanism in Small Towns: The Contingencies of Governing From the Left

By Ross Beveridge (University of Glasgow) and Matthias Naumann (University of Klagenfurt) | Progressive politics is increasingly thought of in terms of cities. They were nodes of resistance to Trumpism in the USA and are centers of a new municipalist movement. In response, there has been growing interest in developing progressive urban policy agendas drawing on examples across a range of cities. But what is it about the urban that drives progressive political projects? And might there be differences between larger and smaller urban areas? Much of the academic debate focuses on larger cities, meaning our understanding of how progressive urban politics plays out in smaller towns is limited. Beyond emblematic cases like Burlington (Vermont), still associated with Bernie Sanders, there is little linking small towns to progressive politics in the political or academic imagination. Indeed, the opposite is usually the case: small towns are associated with conservatism, ‘Small Town America’, for instance, and, increasingly, right-wing populism. Globalization is driving new and deepening regional inequalities, with stark divides between prosperous large urban centers, on the one hand, and small towns as well as rural areas, on the other. Long-term economic decline in many small towns is seen to drive support for politicians like Trump, right-wing political parties like the Alternative for Germany (AfD) and political causes like Brexit in the UK. Read More

January 25, 2022 // 0 Comments