Governing Urban Resilience: New Comparative Approaches

Governing Urban Resilience: New Comparative Approaches

Allison Bramwell
Full Day

While much recent urban politics research in the United States has focused on neighborhoods as the primary locus for capacity building and governance innovation, issues with pressing urban implications continue to unfold at higher scales. Tectonic and rapidly accelerating technological, environmental, and societal changes present increasingly complex and cross-cutting urban policy challenges, the solutions for which remain beyond the reach of any single actor, level of government, or policy sector. These developments raise timely questions about the governance of urban resilience; how cities and regions in different parts of the world are responding, and the shifting power relations that ensue. A formative question of our time is whether ‘cascading failures’ and exclusionary outcomes are inevitable, or whether, and under what conditions, collaborative innovations for meaningful transformation are possible.

This full day short course examines the questions these new urban governance challenges – and the responses to address them emerging at city and regional scales – raise for scholars of urban politics. We explore opportunities for comparative examinations of the theory and practice of urban governance, engaging with new theoretical perspectives and policy issues concerned with urban resilience. Given its ongoing evolution in real time, we acknowledge that resilience remains a broad and ill-defined construct requiring not only analytical clarity, but also critical engagement with the policy and power implications of different discursive frames and ‘imaginaries’. To encourage dialogue and debate as a precursor to more integrated thinking, we therefore use the term more as a cognitive entry point, intentionally leaving open theoretical and analytical objectives to see what might ensue.

The afternoon session will consist of three inter-related panels. The first panel will frame theoretically the range of ideas and constructs implied by urban and regional resilience. The second panel represents substantive exploration of these theoretical frames, providing empirical insight into policies, practices, and challenges emerging ‘on the ground’ in the Global North. For the third panel, we shift the analytical lens to theoretical and substantive developments emerging in the Global South. The morning session, which will be hosted offsite at Northeastern University remains under development.


**All Short Courses will take place on Wednesday, August 29 at the APSA 2018 Annual Meeting in Boston, MA.**