Segregation by Design: Local Politics and Inequality in American Cities

Segregation by Design: Local Politics and Inequality in American Cities

by Jessica Trounstine


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Segregation by Design draws on more than 100 years of quantitative and qualitative data from thousands of American cities to explore how local governments generate race and class segregation. Starting in the early twentieth century, cities have used their power of land use control to determine the location and availability of housing, amenities (such as parks), and negative land uses (such as garbage dumps). The result has been segregation - first within cities and more recently between them. Documenting changing patterns of segregation and their political mechanisms, Trounstine argues that city governments have pursued these policies to enhance the wealth and resources of white property owners at the expense of people of color and the poor. Contrary to leading theories of urban politics, local democracy has not functioned to represent all residents. The result is unequal access to fundamental local services - from schools, to safe neighborhoods, to clean water.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781108454988
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 11/15/2018
Pages: 282
Sales rank: 593,338
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

Jessica Trounstine is Associate Professor of Political Science at University of California, Merced. She is the author of Political Monopolies in American Cities: The Rise and Fall of Bosses and Reformers (2008), which won the American Political Science Association's (APSA) Prize for Best Book on Urban Politics. Trounstine served as President of the Urban and Local Politics Section of APSA from 2014–2015. Her research examines subnational politics and the process and quality of representation.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. A theory of segregation by design; 3. Protecting investments: segregation and the development of the metropolis; 4. Engineering enclaves: how local governments produce segregation; 5. Living on the wrong side of the tracks: inequality in public goods provision, 1900–1940; 6. Cracks in the foundation: losing control over protected neighborhoods; 7. Segregation's negative consequences; 8. Locking in segregation through suburban control; 9. The polarized nation that segregation built; 10. Concluding thoughts and new designs; References; Index.

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