The study of urban politics was once central to the political science discipline in the United States. As central cities have lost their dominant position in the metropolis, however, political science's urbanists have remained fixated on the conflicts and crises of the urban core, while largely ignoring urban politics that occurs outside the city limits. This focus has resulted in a skewed understanding of urban America, and may limit the analytical contributions of the field as well. We review the development of the urban politics literature and offer some explanations for its preoccupation with big cities. We argue that work in this field would be better integrated if urban politics were reconceptualized as the politics of urbanization. We suggest some new theoretical and substantive contributions that such an approach would permit, and emphasize that the politics of urbanization cannot be fully understood in city-bound analysis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science