Political Science 331

POSC 331
Urban and Metropolitan Politics

Catalog Entry

POSC 331. Urban and Metropolitan Politics. (AG)
Three hours lecture (3).

Prerequisite: POSC 120

Development of urban government and impact of its politics; attention to roles of formal and informal actors on urban and metropolitan scene.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Major topic areas that may be included in this course are:

I. The Policy Context of Urban America

A. The Ideological Basis of Urban Politics
B. Expansion of the Federal Role
C. Politicians and Entrepreneurs

II. The Evolution of City Politics

A. Urbanization and Industrialization
B. Evolution of Politics
C. Mercantile Cities
D. Transportation and the Urban Network
E. Immigration and Social Composition
F. Urban Crisis and the Expansion of City Services

III. Politician as Entrepreneur

A. Political Environment of Urban Machines
B. Advantages and Disadvantages of Machine Rule
C. Machines and Business
D. Political Culture and Machines

IV. The Reform Legacy

A. Reform Environment
B. Reform Agenda
C. Efficiency and Economy
D. Commission and Manager Governments
E. Class Bias

V. Cities in National Policy

A. The New Urban Consciousness
B. Cities in the Intergovernmental System
C. National Politics and the City

VI. Cities and Suburbs

A. Movement to Cities
B. Postwar Suburbanization
C. Complexity of the New Urban Pattern
D. The Entrepreneurial Shaping of the Suburbs
E. Zoning
F. Costs of Suburbanization

VII. The Fiscal Crisis

A. City Expenditures
B. City Revenues
C. Fiscal Problems and the Private Sector
D. Cities as Private Institutions

VIII. Government Policies and the Segregated Metropolis

A. Housing
B. Urban Redevelopment
C. Urban and Suburban Growth
D. Service Delivery

IX. Changing Urban Policy

A. Citizen Participation
B. New Roles For Intergovernmental Relations
C. Structural Approaches
D. The Government/Business Partnership


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course will be primarily a lecture class, but small group exercises and discussions, in-class exercises, and discussions involving the entire class may also be used.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

1. To foster an awareness of economic, social, and geographic effects on the development of cities and their governments.
2. To show the relationships between patterns of urban growth/decline and the governing of urban areas.
3. To describe the influence of the federal government on the politics and policies of urban areas.


Assessment Measures

Class performance may be evaluated with objective and/or essay examinations, writing assignments related to class readings, quizzes, in-class writings, class participation, and a research or analytic paper.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

April 1998 Reviewed M. J. Franck, Dept. Chair