urban politics

How City Politics is Organized in Space in Chicago, Toronto, and London

January 22, 2021 // 0 Comments

By Zack Taylor (University of Western Toronto), Jan Doering (McGill University), and Dan Silver (University of Toronto) | Sociologists and geographers have long placed space and place at the center of their analyses. They have shown that people’s identities and attitudes are inflected by their social and physical contexts—who their neighbors are and what kind of place they live in—although they have not always extended this to politics. Studies of urban politics, on the other hand, have focused on individual characteristics such as race and gender rather than space or place. In their important study of exit polls in American big-city elections, Trounstine and Hajnal (2014) find that race overwhelms all other factors. Elections in large American cities are predominantly contests between cohesive groups defined by race. Read More

The Size and Sources of Municipal Incumbency Advantage in Canada

January 13, 2021 // 0 Comments

By Jack Lucas (University of Calgary) | Incumbent candidates who seek re-election in Canadian cities almost always win: in many cities, incumbent re-election rates approach or exceed 90 percent. These stratospheric re-election rates are often interpreted as a sign of serious unfairness in Canadian municipal elections. Reforms ranging from stricter campaign finance rules to term limits to political parties have been suggested as possible solutions to the unfairness of incumbent electoral success. Read More

Political Consequences of the Endangered Local Watchdog: Newspaper Decline and Mayoral Elections in the United States

September 23, 2020 // 1 Comment

By Meghan E. Rubado (Cleveland State University) and Jay T. Jennings (The University of Texas at Austin) | The prolonged and ongoing struggle of city newspapers to stay afloat and maintain full newsrooms made us curious about potential fallout for local politics. Our new article in UAR leverages 20 years of data to examine the relationship between newspaper staffing cuts and measures of political competition and voter engagement in mayoral elections. Read More

The Privileged Few: How Exclusionary Zoning Amplifies the Advantaged and Blocks New Housing—and What We Can Do About It

June 5, 2020 // 0 Comments

Editor's Note: This post by Katherine Levine Einstein (Boston University) is the second of three posts based on the Exclusionary Zoning Colloquy published in 2019. The entire colloquy is available here. Check back soon for another response from Edward Goetz (University of Minnesota). If you missed the first post by David Imbroscio (University of Louisville) you can read that here. Read More

Gangnam Style – A Symbol of Fast Urban Growth and Deep Inequality

May 22, 2020 // 0 Comments

By Yooil Bae (Fulbright University Vietnam) and Yu-Min Joo (National University of Singapore) | In 2012, South Korean singer Psy’s Gangnam Style became a global sensation, earning three billion views on YouTube. In several interviews, Psy mentioned that the theme of the song was intended to satirize the extravagant and speculative culture of the place (Jung and Li 2014). With his motto to “dance cheesy, dress classy,” the music video showed Gangnam’s trendy and luxurious lifestyle, as well as the high-rise properties of the wealthy. Indeed, Gangnam has become an emblematic and successful example of Korea’s compressed economic development. At the same time, it also began to symbolize deepening urban segregation, as Gangnam is concentrated with the super-middle class with socio-economic, and even political, superiority in South Korea. Similar urban scenes—dubbed as “Gangnam-ization” (Park and Jung 2017)—have also sprouted up in other metropolises of rapidly developing countries, including China and Indonesia. Read More

Analyzing Urban Politics: A Mobilization-Governance Framework

November 22, 2019 // 0 Comments

Stephen J. McGovern | Regime theory has dominated the analysis of urban politics since the publication in 1989 of Clarence Stone’s seminal book, Regime Politics: Governing Atlanta, 1946-1988. As with any influential theory, there have been trenchant criticisms, but for years no alternative approach has emerged to challenge its leading position within the field. Read More

2018 Dennis Judd Best Book Award

October 24, 2019 // 0 Comments

Editor’s Note (Jered Carr): We wanted to take this opportunity to highlight three important books published last year on urban politics. Michael Craw of Evergreen State College chaired the committee responsible for selecting the recipient of the Dennis Judd Best Book Award given by the Urban and Local Politics Section of the American Political Science Association in August 2019. In this post, he briefly describes the committee’s top three choices for best book published on 2018. Read More