About the parent course

Starting in Spring 2013, a new parent course for Urban Lab Istanbul (Poli 464/362) has been offered:

POLI 464/362: Comparative Urban Politics and Policy

This course offers a broad overview of urban politics and policies in cities around the world. We will examine how national, regional and local forces shape the processes and outcomes governance within and across cities and metropolitan areas, paying particular attention to critical problems and policies that affect urban centers: growth, immigration, class conflict, public order, service management, education, housing, transportation, environmental protection, sustainability, land-use planning and spatial competition.

The course is designed as a research seminar and will meet once weekly for a 3-hour session. Students must be registered for the Poli 464/362 course in order to participate in the Istanbul Lab (Poli 349) course. Please contact Prof. Marschall if you are interested in enrolling (marschal@rice.edu).

Spring 2014 Syllabus for Poli 464

In previous years (S2012, S2011), the parent course was Poli 332.

POLI 332: Urban Politics

This course examines the politics and public policies of local governments in the United States. In the first part of the course we will explore the historical growth and change of cities and suburbs, focusing on issues of race and class, the structure of local government, the development urban policy in the American federal system, and the various ways in which cultural values have contributed to American exceptionalism in residential patterns and the forms and functions of local jurisdictions. Our discussions will be organized around five specific waves of immigration and migration in the US: foreign immigration, the ‘great migration,’ suburbanization, the rise of the Sunbelt, and new immigration. We will assess how each of these population movements influenced the distribution of power both within and across local polities, and among federal, state, and local governments. In addition to examining how each of these population movements has shaped the demographic characteristics of cities and suburbs, we will also look at their effects on the nature of social, economic, and political problems in local jurisdictions, the policies developed to address local problems, and the resources and capacity of local governments to solve these problems.  A second part of the course will survey various models of local politics in an attempt to better understand who has power in local politics and why economic interests play such an important role in urban governance. Finally, we will analyze several specific policy areas and assess the extent to which historical development and the various models of local politics help us understand contemporary policy processes and outcomes.


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