Dr.James Thurmond

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PUBL 6321 Urban Politics

Introduction

Urban politics, as used in this course, is concerned with the art and craft of governing in a densely populated place – i.e., a metropolitan area (Herson and Bolland, The Urban Web, 1990). How is public policy adopted and implemented in a metropolitan area consisting of a multitude of governments, interest groups, private organizations, and non-profit organizations with complex public problems that span governmental jurisdictional boundaries? How does local government cope with social and economic problems in overlapping metropolitan environments, the complexity of urbanization, and other governmental agencies? How does a public administrator function in such an environment?

The course will cover both theory and practice, and it will apply theory, as appropriate, in class discussions about current events and in class papers. It will strive to link the content of the course, both theory and practice, with experiences of the students. It will include speakers representing various metropolitan perspectives.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students should have a greater understanding of urban politics and its relationship to practice.
  • Students should be able to think more strategically about the role of their specific public organization in the metropolitan context.
  • Prepare students for a public administration career in complex and diverse environments.

Requirements for the Course

  • Read the assignments and carefully prepare for each class.
  • Regularly participate in seminar discussions based upon the readings and your experience.
  • Turn in graduate-level quality papers on time using Turnitin on Blackboard. Late papers will be dropped one letter grade.
    • Short Papers – Write two SHORT papers (2-3 pages) on how class reading material and discussions relate to what is happening in the real world. These short papers are not summaries of the readings and/or discussions. You are not just a conduit for the readings/discussions, but you should add value to the readings/discussions in your papers. The first paper is due March 1 and the second paper April 12.
    • Class presentation – Present a selected reading to the class. Address such questions as what the author is trying to show or explain; whether or not the author is successful; how the author’s work is applicable to practice; and how the author’s work relates to what has been covered in class. The purpose of the presentation is to demonstrate your understanding of the material and to improve your public speaking skills. You are allotted a maximum of 15 minutes for your presentation and classroom discussion
    • Final exam will be a multiple essay question take-home paper at the end of semester. It will be submitted using Turnitin.
  • Refer to Writing Public Policy (Smith, Catherine 2010) for guidance on paper formats. See specifically Chapter 7 - Briefing Memo or Opinion Statement: Inform Policy Makers, 126- 136, and Appendix B - Clear Writing, 183-187. Also, double space and use 1” margins.

Grading

  • Class participation and attendance 10%
  • Two papers 30%
  • Presentation 25%
  • Final 35%

Statement on Academic Dishonesty

Presenting the words or works of others as your own is plagiarism, is dishonest, and is a violation of the University Policy on Academic Honesty. If you are not certain of what is permissible, you should contact the professor prior to submitting the assignment and/or check the UH webpage (www.uh.edu/provost/policies/uhhonesty_policy.html l). A student found in violation of academic dishonesty may be subject to a failing grade, suspension, or dismissal from the university

Required Textbooks

Kantor, Paul and Dennis R. Judd. 2010. American Urban Politics in a Global Age. Pearson Longman: New York.

Outline and Assignments

January 25: Introduction – Overview of the Course

  • Herson, Lawrence J.R. and John M. Bolland. 1990. Ten Theories of Urban Politics In The Urban Web, 31-39. Chicago: Nelson-Hall Publishers.
  • Tiebout, Charles. 1956. A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures. The Journal of Political Economy, 64, 5, 416-424.
  • Judd, Dennis R. 2005. Urban Scholars as End-Times Prophets. In American Urban Politics in a Global Age, edited by Paul Kantor and Dennis R. Judd, 302-307. NYC: Pearson Longman.
  • Lowndes, Vivien. Citizenship and Urban Politics. 1995 In Theories of Urban Politics, edited by Judge, Stoker, & Wolman, 160-180. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Hamilton, Billy. 2009. Disturbia in Suburbia. In State Tax Notes, 54, 10, 750-755.
  • News Articles:
    • Commuter rail – balkanization or regional. Houston Chronicle. 10-09.
    • Reducing number of local governments in New York. 12-08.
    • Special district creation. Houston Chronicle. 1-09.

 

February 1: Urban Areas, Urbanization, Types of Government, and Functions of Cities

  • U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. 1982. The Five Types of Local Governments: Characteristics and Development. In The Organization of Local Political Economies, 227-266. Washington D.C: GPO.
  • Davis, Mike. 1992. Fortress Los Angeles. In American Urban Politics in a Global Age, edited by Kantor and Judd, 253-271. NYC: Pearson Longman.
  • Kohn, Margaret. 2008. The Mauling of Public Space. In American Urban Politics in a Global Age, edited by Kantor and Judd, 272-290. NY: Pearson Longman.
  • Hamilton, David K. 1999. Growth of Urban America. In Governing Metropolitan Areas: Responses to Growth and Change, 1-45. NY: Garland Publishing Co.
  • News Article: Consolidated services would they save money?

 

February 8: Local Governments

  • Speaker: Mayor Allen Owen, City of Missouri City
  • Peterson, Paul E. 2008. City Limits. Interests of Limited City. In American Urban Politics in a Global Age, edited by Kantor and Judd, 1-45. NYC: Pearson Longman.
  • Stone, Clarence. 2008. Urban Regimes. In American Urban Politics in a Global Age, edited by Kantor and Judd, 26-42. NYC: Pearson Longman.
  • Sugrue, Thomas J. 1996. Racial Confrontation in Post-War Detroit – The Rise of the Homeowners’ Movement. In American Urban Politics in a Global Age, edited by Kantor and Judd, 139-160. NYC: Pearson Longman.
  • Jones, E. Terrence. 2003. Chapter 4 - The Nonprofit Sector and Chapter 5 - The Civic Sphere. The Metropolitan Chase – Politics and Polices in Urban America, 79-115. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

 

February 15: Local Governments - continued

  • Wolman, Harold. 1995. Local Government Institutions and Democratic Governance. In Theories of Urban Politics, edited by Judge, Stoker, & Wolman, 135-159. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Saltzstein, Alan L. 2003. The Making and Unmaking of Federal Urban Policy. In Governing America’s Urban Areas, 136 – 149 and 166 -169. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
  • Nivola, Pietro S. 2010. Federal Prescriptions and City Problems. In American Urban Politics in a Global Age, edited by Kantor and Judd, 367-392. NYC: Pearson Longman.
  • Lewis, Paul G. and Max Neiman. 2009. Custodian of Place Governing the Growth and Development of Cities. Washington D.C: Georgetown University Press.
    • Regional or Metropolitan Entities, 37-50.
    • C. 3 - What Type of City to Be? Evaluating Different Types of Growth, 51-66.
    • C. 6 - Hustle or Balancing Act? Regulating Residential Growth, 130 – 138 and 158 – 160.
    • C. 7 - Custodian of Place: Systemic Representation in Local Governance, 161 – 173.

 

February 22: Regionalism

  • Speaker: City of Houston representative
  • Hamilton. 1999. Chapter 3 - Traditional Reform. In Governing Metropolitan Areas: Responses to Growth and Change, 87-140. NY: Garland Publishing Co.
  • Hamilton. 1999. Chapter 10 - New Regionalism. In Governing Metropolitan Areas: Responses to Growth and Change, 350-393. NY: Garland Publishing Co.
  • Savitch, H.V. and Ronald K. Vogel. 1996. Chapter 1 - Regional Patterns in a Post-City Age and Chapter 12 - Perspectives for the Present and Lessons for the Future In Regional Politics: America in a Post-City Age, 1-22 and 275-302. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Kantor and Judd. 2010. Chapter 7 - Sprawl, Regionalism and the New Urbanism. American Urban Politics in a Global Age, 308-310. NYC: Pearson Longman.

 

March 1: Regionalism – continued

  • Speaker: Richard Derr, Director, Utility District Relations, The Woodlands Development Co
  • Thomas, Robert D. and Suphapong Boonyapratuang. 1993. Local Government Complexity: Consequences for County Property-Tax and Debt Policies. Publius: The Journal of Federalism 23, 1-18.
  • Fisher, Ronald C. 2007. Optimal Government Size. State & Local Public Finance, 124-128. Mason, OH: Thomson Higher Education.
  • Keating, Michael. 1996. Size, Efficiency and Democracy: Consolidation, Fragmentation and Public Choice. In Theories of Urban Politics, edited by Judge, Stoker, & Wolman, 117-134. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Rusk, David. 2010. Growth Management: The Core Regional Issue. In American Urban Politics in a Global Age, edited by Kantor and Judd, 317-335. NYC: Pearson Longman.
  • Calthorpe, Peter and William Fulton. 2010. The Region Is the Neighborhood: Sprawl and the New Urbanism. In American Urban Politics in a Global Age, edited by Kantor and Judd, 345-351. NYC: Pearson Longman.
  • Ostrom, Elinor, Roger B. Parks, and Gordon P. Whitaker. 1973. Do We Really Want to Consolidate Urban Police Forces? A Reappraisal of Some Old Assertions. Public Administration Review 33, 5, 423-432.
  • Foster, Kathryn A. 1997. Regional Impulses. Journal of Urban Affairs 19, 4, 375-383 and 396-399.

 

March 8: Metropolitan Areas

  • U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. 1987. The Organization of Local Public Economies. Washington, DC: GPO. 1-56.
  • Ross, Andrew. 1999. Kinder, Gentler Government? In American Urban Politics in a Global Age, edited by Kantor and Judd, 209-220. NYC: Pearson Longman.
  • Avila, Eric. 2010. Fear and Fantasy in Suburban Los Angeles. In American Urban Politics in a Global Age, edited by Kantor and Judd, 230-242. NYC: Pearson Longman.
  • Hayden, Dolores. 2008. “Planned Sprawl” and the Rise of the Mall. In American Urban Politics in a Global Age, edited by Kantor and Judd, 242-250. NYC: Pearson Longman.

 

March 15: Spring Break

 

March 22: Metropolitan Areas - continued

  • Speaker: Jack Steele, Executive Director, Houston-Galveston Area Council
  • Saltzstein, Alan L. 2003. Chapter 9 - The Governance of Metropolitan Regions. In Governing America’s Urban Areas, 274-310. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
  • Siegel, Fred. 2010. Is Urban Sprawl a Problem? In American Urban Politics in a Global Age, edited by Kantor and Judd, 335 - 344. NYC: Pearson Longman.
  • Matkin, David S. T. and H. George Frederickson. 2009. Metropolitan Governance: Institutional Roles and Interjurisdictional Cooperation. Journal of Urban Affairs 31, 1, 45-66.
  • Dreier, Peter, John Mollenkopf, and Todd Swanstrom. 2001. C. 7 - Metropolicies for 21st Century and C. 8 - Metropolitics. Place Matters – Metropolitics for the Twenty-first Century, 201- 260. Lawrence, Kansas: UK Press.

 

March 29: Special Purpose Governments

  • Foster, Kathryn A. 1997. The Political Economy of Special-Purpose Government, 1 – 136. Washington, D.C: Georgetown University Press.
  • Musgrave, Richard R. and Peggy B. Musgrave. 1997. C. 3 - Principles of Multiunit Finance. In State and Local Finance, edited by Dick Netzer and Matthew P. Drennan, 39-53. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers.
  • Judd, Dennis R. and Todd Swanstrom. 2008. The Powerful Role of Special Authorities. In City Politics The Political Economy of Urban America, 322-326. NY: Pearson Education, Inc.
  • News Articles:
    • The Costs of Making Downtown Attractive. Chicago Tribune. July 2009.
    • Struggling Sharpstown mall is looking for revival business. Houston Chronicle. 5-30-09.
    • Fair Oaks Considers Tax District February. The Boerne Star. 2-09.

 

April 5: Implementation, Collaboration, and Networking

  • Speaker: Practitioner’s use of external conceptualization
  • Agranoff, Robert and Michael McGuire. 2001. American Federalism and the Search for Models of Management. Public Administration Review 61, 6, 671-681.
  • Hall, Jeremy L. 2007. Dividing the Pie: Values, Self-Interest, and New Challenges for Urban Administrators in a Fragmented System. PAMU 96-127.
  • Mandell, Myrna. 1990. C. 2 - Network Management: Strategic Behavior in Public Sector. In Managing Intergovernmental Policies, 29-53.
  • Jones, Bryan D. 1995. Bureaucrats and Urban Politics: Who Controls? Who Benefits? In Theories of Urban Politics, edited by Judge, Stoker, & Wolman, 72-95. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Hamilton, David K. 2000. Organizing Government Structure and Governance Functions in Metropolitan Areas in Response to Growth and Change: A critical Overview. Journal of Urban Affairs 22, 1, 65-84.
  • Buijs, Jean-Marie. 2009. Understanding the connective capacity of program management in complex governance processes from a self-organization perspective. Paper for ASPA Annual Conference 2009 Miami, 1-17.
  • Zeemering, Eric S. 2008. Governing Interlocal Cooperation: City Council Interests and the Implications for Public Management. Public Administration Review 731 – 741.
  • Feiock, Richard C. 2010. C. 10 - Institutional Collective Action and Local Government Collaboration. In Big Ideas in Collaborative Public Management edited by Bingham, Lisa Blomgren and Rosemary O’Leary. NYC: M.E. Sharpe, Inc. 195-210.
  • News article: A push to make commuter rail a reality. Houston Chronicle. October 2009.

 

April 12: No class – American Society of Public Administration Annual Conference

 

April 19: Economic Development

  • Savitch H.V. and Paul Kantor. 2002. Cities in the International Marketplace – The Political Economy of Urban Development in North America and Western Europe, 1-54. Princeton University Press.
  • Kantor and Savitch. 1993. Can Politicians Bargain with Business? In American Urban Politics in a Global Age, edited by Kantor and Judd, 80-96. NYC: Pearson Longman.
  • Strom, Elizabeth. 2008. Rethinking the Politics of Downtown Development. Journal of Urban Affairs 30, 1, 37-61.
  • Fisher, Ronald C. 2007. Investment within Regions. State & Local Public Finance, 662-671. Mason, OH: Thomson Higher Educ
  • Hall, Jeremy L. 2008. The Forgotten Regional Organizations: Creating Capacity for Economic Development, Public Administration Review 110-125.
  • News Article: Govt. mergers no help to eco. dev. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. 7-30-09.

 

April 26: Social Movements and Environment Justice

  • Fainstein, Susan S. and Clifford Hirst. Urban Social Movements. 1995. In Theories of Urban Politics, edited by Judge, Stoker, & Wolman, 181-204. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Stone, Clarence N. 1995. Political Leadership in Urban Politics. In Theories of Urban Politics, edited by Judge, Stoker, & Wolman, 96-116. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Pavel, M. Paloma Ed. Breakthrough Communities Sustainability and Justice in the Next American Metropolis, ixxx – xli and 3 – 5. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    • Lerner, Steve. 2009. C. 15 - Opportunity-based Housing in Atlanta, 167-173.
    • Dorsey, Hattie. 2009. C. 16 - A Regional Approach to Affordable Housing, 175-182.
    • LeRoy, Greg. 2009. C. 19 - Community Benefits Agreements: A Strategy for Renewing Our Cities, 204 - 212.
    • Blackwell, Angela Glover and L. Benjamin Stanett. 2009. C. 26 - Building Capacity of the Regional Equity Movement, 167-173.

 

May 3: Politics of Race and Ethnicity / Wrap-up

  • Rogers, Reuel R. 2004. Minority Groups and Coalitional Politics. In American Urban Politics in a Global Age, edited by Kantor and Judd, 161-188. NYC: Pearson Longman.
  • Newman, Harvey K. 2002. Race and the Tourist Bubble. In American Urban Politics in a Global Age, edited by Kantor and Judd, 188-206. NYC: Pearson Longman.
  • Stehr, Stephen D. 1998. The Political Economy of Disaster Assistance? In American Urban Politics in a Global Age, edited by Kantor and Judd, 392-398. NYC: Pearson Longman.