The Urban Growth Machine: Critical Perspectives, Two Decades Later / Edition 1

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Harvey Molotch's "city as a growth machine" thesis is one of the most influential approaches to the analysis of urban politics and local economic development in the United States. However, the nature and context of urban politics have changed considerably since the growth machine thesis was first proposed more than twenty years ago, and recent attempts to apply it to settings outside the U.S. have revealed conceptual and empirical limitations.. "This book offers a unique critical assessment of the contribution of the growth machine thesis to research in urban political economy. Written from an interdisciplinary and international perspective, it brings together leading urban studies scholars. These contributors explore three organizing themes: urban growth, discourse and ideology; new dimensions of urban politics; and the growth machine in comparative perspective. These themes not only provide the focus for the critical examinations of the growth machine thesis, but also offer exciting new ways of thinking about and researching urban politics and local economic development.
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Editorial Reviews

Contains essays from an April 1996 meeting of the Association of American Geographers, held in Charlotte, North Carolina, in celebration of two decades of research on Harvey Molotch's "city as a growth machine" thesis. Essays are in sections on urban growth ideology and discourse, new dimensions of urban politics, and the growth machine in comparative perspective. Subjects include boosterism and the representation of cities, a feminist critique of the growth machine thesis, and conceptual issues and policy alternatives in the European Union. Includes a conclusion by Molotch. Joans is affiliated with the University of Hull, UK, and UC-Riverside. Wilson is affiliated with the University of Illinois-Urbana. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791442609
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Series: SUNY Series in Urban Public Policy
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Table of Contents

Tables and Figures



1. The City as a Growth Machine: Critical Reflections Two Decades Later
Andrew E. G. Jonas and David Wilson


2. Ideology and the Growth Coalition
Kevin R. Cox

3. Urban Imagineers: Boosterism and the Representation of Cities
John Rennie Short

4. Growth Machines and Propaganda Projects: A Review of Readings of the Role of Civic Boosterism in the Politics of Local Economic Development
Mark Boyle


5. The Character and Consequences of Growth Regimes: An Assessment of Twenty Years of Research
John R. Logan, Rachel Bridges Whaley, and Kyle Crowder

6. Place, Politics, and the Production of Urban Space: A Feminist Critique of the Growth Machine Thesis
Melissa R. Gilbert

7. Redefining Urban Politics for the Twenty-First Century
Allan Cochrane

8. Reconstructing Urban Regime Theory: Regulation Theory and Institutional Arrangements
Mickey Lauria

9. Retooling the Machine: Economic Crisis, State Restructuring, and Urban Politics
Bob Jessop, Jamie Peck, and Adam Tickell


10. Organizing for Local Economic Development: The Growth Coalition as a Cross-National Comparative Framework
Andrew Wood

11. Growth Coalitions in Britain's Waning Sunbelt: Some Reflections
Keith Bassett

12. The Politics of Influence: Democracy and the Growth Machine in Orange County, U.S.
Stephanie Pincetl

13. Employing the Growth Machine Heuristic in a Different Political and Economic Context: The Case of Israel
Andrew Kirby and Thabit Abu-Rass

14. Transcending Interurban Competition: Conceptual Issues and Policy Alternatives in the European Union
Helga Leitner and Eric Sheppard


15. Growth Machine Links: Up, Down, and Across
Harvey Molotch


Biographical Notes


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