Two Cheers for American Cities: Commentary on Urban Citizenship and American Democracy
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CitationHochschild, Jennifer. 2016. "Two Cheers for American Cities: Commentary on Urban Citizenship and American Democracy" in Urban Citizenship and American Democracy, eds. Amy Bridges and Michael Javen Fortner. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.
AbstractThe editors of Urban Citizenship and American Democracy identify three provocative themes running through the volume: 1) “urban autonomy is contingent upon the historical development of the American polity;” 2) “when urban actors and public policies are relatively autonomous they can exert a significant effect on American society and politics,” and 3) “local politics and policies shape an individual or a group’s . . . membership in a broader community, whether defined as political or racial“ (all from page 1 of prospectus). Empirically, the book is full of feedback loops, ranging from the very macro interaction between constitutional federalism and local policy debates through intermediate levels to the very micro question of the associations among parents’ involvement in different public arenas. Normatively, the authors’ touchstone for successful urban citizenship is strong democratic control and greater racial or ethnic equality. In this commentary, I will react to individual chapters and, more importantly, these overarching themes, empirical regularities, and normative commitments. The chapters are all significant, innovative, and analytically rich. My own views do not always concur with those of the authors and editors, but they have been deeply informed by their arguments.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:34390120
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