Short Course: From Ideas to Policies in Urban Politics

From Ideas to Policies in Urban Politics

Richardson Dilworth
Full Day, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Offsite Location:
Drexel University’s DC Center
801 17th Street NW
Lafayette Tower, Suite 420
Washington, DC 20006

This is a day-long short course broken into two parts, and held off-site at Drexel University’s DC Center in Lafayette Tower (801 17th Street NW), easy walking distance from the conference hotels. Lunch and an end-of-the-day reception will be provided. Part 1 of the day (before lunch) explores the relationship between urban policy and politics, and is based on a journal symposium. Part 2 (after lunch) is based on an edited book currently in press. Draft copies of both the symposium and the book will be provided to participants ahead of the short course.

Part 1: Towards an Urban Policy Analysis: Linking Urban Politics and Public Policy

This short course probes the distinctiveness of urban policy analysis, seeking to extend theories and understandings of urban politics and public policy by engaging them in dialogue. We argue that neither urban policy processes, nor urban policies, can be understood simply with reference to theories developed without consideration of scale or for use at other scales (e.g. national or international). By drawing on insights from urban politics and urban studies literature applied to original empirical work, participants explore several key dimensions of urban policy making and the urban context including: the relationship between participation and policy outcomes; multi-level governance and the simultaneous autonomy and constraints in urban policy making; and the role of comparison in studies of urban policy. Contributions span policy areas of immigration, economic development, participatory governance and the digital economy. They examine processes and policies in North America, Europe, and Latin America, most often in comparative perspective.

Part 2: How Ideas Shape Urban Political Development

Ideas, interests, and institutions are the “holy trinity” of the study of politics. Of the three, ideas are arguably the hardest with which to grapple and thus, despite generally broad agreement of their fundamental importance, the most often neglected or treated in an ad hoc manner. This is nowhere more true than in the study of urban politics and urban political development. Our presenters discuss the existing major theoretical approaches to the study of urban politics and how those approaches have neglected the role of ideas; define what they mean by urban political development and explain how their case studies contribute to that definition; and discuss how urban political development is shaped by ideas.

**All Short Courses will take place on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 at the APSA 2019 Annual Meeting in  Washington, DC.**