The Dependent City Revisited: The Political Economy of Urban Development and Social Policy

The Dependent City Revisited: The Political Economy of Urban Development and Social Policy

The Dependent City Revisited: The Political Economy of Urban Development and Social Policy

The Dependent City Revisited: The Political Economy of Urban Development and Social Policy

Synopsis

Here is a book that makes sense of the L. A. riots, homelessness, tax giveaways, and the other big urban issues that are back in the national spotlight. In this streamlined and updated new edition of his classic book, The Dependent City, Paul Kantor now focuses on economic development and social welfare policies to reveal the key dilemmas of American urban politics. Returning to a political economy theme, Kantor explores how city governments have struggled to escape and accommodate the reality of their economic dependency in the policies that they've pursued. Revisiting cities across the nation, Kantor finds not only that they have become more dependent but also that the character of this dependency has changed and deepened. Exploring local regimes in the Frostbelt and Sunbelt and in suburbia, he finds that they frequently act more like captives of big business rather than as representatives of citizens. Local attempts to promote social justice increasingly run up against a wall of economic dependency created by federal policies and business power. This book signals how American cities can find ways of overcoming this dependency by working together with states and the federal government to promote healthy, democratic urban politics. The Dependent City Revisited is an accessible, provocative supplement for a wide variety of courses in urban studies and political economy as well as stimulating reading for anyone who is interested in understanding America's urban mosaic.

Excerpt

Since the publication of The Dependent City in 1988, urban politics in the United States has changed at least as much as urban political theory. The Dependent City Revisited is a response to both of these things. In chapters that are entirely new or significantly revised, I seek to provide a fresh focus on the politics of urban social and economic development. I also introduce the reader to better ways of making sense of what is happening to our nation's cities and suburbs through new theoretical insights.

Events during recent years have deepened the economic dependency of urban America. The continued restructuring of the global and national economies has unleashed new and more intense economic competition among cities, states, and regions in the United States. This form of dependency on private-sector forces has created new challenges for city and suburb in rendering equitable as well as lasting solutions to their most-pressing community problems. At the same time, federal, state, and local officials have experimented with new ways of coping with the social and political consequences of this dependency. Unfortunately, many of these efforts have been inadequate to the task or have even intensified the plight of cities. For instance, the Reagan-Bush urban policies that sought to limit federal regulation of urban affairs played themselves out during the 1990s. It has now been revealed that homelessness, racial segregation, rising local tax burdens, unemployment, and other city and suburban ills become worse under a federal strategy of limited regulation. The Clinton administration and state and local political leaders have yet to find a compelling new urban strategy. The Dependent City Revisited describes this experience, relates it to the past, and offers some new ways to achieve better urban social and economic development. Most important, I try to demonstrate that the worst urban miseries in the United States are mainly matters of political choice: They necessitate addressing the reality of urban dependency through wise public policy or abandoning our communities to the adverse social consequences of such dependency. This interventionist suggestion for managing our urban dilemma may seem out of fashion during this time of antigovernment sentiment and conservative political tide. Yet I propose this response because I am inclined to believe that good urban policy in America ultimately will spring from recognition by citizens of what policies make them better off rather than from political fantasy and ideological fad.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.