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GOVERNING AMERICA'S URBAN AREAS offers students a detailed understanding of the structures and political processes intrinsic to metropolitan government. Focusing on the problems and promises of coordinated metropolitan governance, Alan Saltzstein demonstrates that American cities—which need strong government—are often governed in reality by a variety of weak institutions and forces. This theme is woven throughout the text, giving students a common framework within which to understand such fundamental social science concepts as power, efficiency, violence, representation, and organizational structure.
"One of the major strengths of this text is that Saltzstein is presenting an analysis; the student reader is exposed to an argument, which Saltzstein advances in a sophisticated and well documented manner. He does so with a writing style that is clear, readable, and engaging. Saltzstein in dealing with important issues and he clearly demonstrates the relevance of his analysis to those issues... Saltzstein writes as a very knowledgeable and responsible social scientist carefully anchoring his analysis in social science findings. When he offers conclusion they are firmly based on solid empirical findings."
"Few urban politics/government books devote as much attention as this one to urbanization and associated trends (Chs. 2 and 3); to urban riots (Ch. 8);" Jefferson's and Madison's influence on the thinking about local government (Ch. 4) "and to the urban political machine. . . . I was particularly pleased to see a brief discussion in Chapter 9 about the Internet and its uses in local government."
Alan L. Saltzstein is Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Division of Political Science and Criminal Justice at California State University at Fullerton. Much of his career has involved teaching Undergraduate courses that focus on urban related concerns and Saltzstein also teaches courses in the Masters of Public Administration program.
1. The Paradox of Urban Governance. Why Do Our Cities Fail? Why Urban Areas Need More Government. Small Towns and Urban Government. How Our Urban Areas respond to the Need for Government. 2. The Social and Economic Structure of American Cities. The Walking City. The Industrial City, 1880-1920. The Suburban City, 1950-1970. A Cacophony of Change; The American City 1970-2000. 3. Conflicting Theories of American Urban Government. The Founding Fathers and Urban Government. The Practice of Government in the Age of Industrialization. American Urban Government: A Conflict of Ideas. 4. Organizing the Government of Today. The Progressive Movement and the Evils of the Machine. Changing Structures of Government. Reform Governments: Have They Made a Difference. Analyzing City Government. Progressive Government: An Assessment. 5.The Making and Unmaking of Federal Urban Policy. An Urban Policy. What Should It Be? The Organization of Government and Urban Policy. How the Federal Government Influences Urban Matters. The Rise and Fall of Federal Urban Policy.Conclusion: The Federal Government and the Paradox. 6. Power and Leadership in the American City. What We Know Abut Power in American Cities. Examining Big City Power. Power in the American City: Summary and Conclusions. Power in the Twentieth First Century: A Brief Look at Three Big City Mayors. 7. Urban Riots and Urban Policy. Riots and Rebellions: A Brief History of Urban Unrest. Analyzing Urban Riots. The Los Angeles Riots of 1992: Rebellion, Profit or Bad Management? Conclusion: What Do We Know About Urban Riots? 8. Can Citizens Control Urban governance: The Elusive Search for Social Capital. Social Capital: The Condition and the Problem. Approaches to Expanding Community Involvement. Conclusion: The Search for Social Capital. 9. The Governance of Metropolitan Regions. The Rise of Suburbia and the Fragmented City. Government Fragmentation: Is it a Problem? Approaches to an Improved Metropolitan Organization of Governments.The Practice of Modern Regional Governance. Conclusions: Preserving Our Rights and Protecting . Our Regions. 10. Resolving the "Paradox of Urban Governance". How Did These Conditions Come About? How is the Paradox Resolved? Bold Approaches to the Problems of American Cities.