Politics has not always fared well in the political science literature on the cities, at least not in the United States. Since the mid-nineteenth century, a substantial literature has either decried or discounted the role of politics in urban governance. Much of the early literature, written before and just after the creation of the American Political Science Association in 1903, urged politics be banished and administration privileged as a way to remedy “one conspicuous failure of the United States … the government of cities.” Subsequent literature reinstated politics—though some claimed elected officials were simply agents of special interests or upper-class elites. The prevailing view today is that political leadership is an important, independent factor in the governing equation, although it is arguable that of late national and state administrators have been empowered at the expense of local self-rule—thus approximating, albeit by different means, the system envisioned by early municipal reformers.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error