Political Science 252
Introduction to the Politics of the City
Length of Course: 14 weeks
Classroom hours per week: 4 hours
Prerequisite: PSCI 100 (Introduction to Political Science) or PSCI 202 (Introduction to Comparative Politics)
Corequisite: English 100
Texts: Tindal, C. Richard et al. Local Government in Canada. 9th Ed. 2017. Nelson Education: Toronto.
Davies, Jonathan S, and Imbroscio, David L. Critical Urban Studies: New Directions. 2010. State University of New York: New York.
Brunet-Jailly, Emmanuel. Vancouver: The Sustainable City. 2008. Journal of Urban Affairs
Sassen, Sakia. The Global City: Strategic Site/New Frontier, 2000. American Studies
Cities are vital spaces, economic engines, cultural hubs and, increasingly, where we live. Since the 1950s urbanization has accelerated rapidly worldwide and today more than half the global population and over eighty percent of Canadians live in urban areas. Given this trend, the political structures and processes of cities are becoming increasingly important. This course introduces students to the politics of Canadian cities. It explores the responsibilities of city governments, the ways they make policy, and their relationship with other levels of government. Further, it investigates the quality of democratic governance in cities as well as how city spaces construct relations of equality and inequality and the ways city living shapes our interactions with different individuals and social groups.
At the end of this course, students will understand the basic institutions of government within Canadian cities and how city governments fit in to the broader institutional structure of the Canadian state. They also become familiar with some of the key policy challenges facing Canadian cities in the 21st century. Further, students will understand key theories of urban governance and policy making. Finally, this course will equip students with analytical writing and speaking tools that will help them to effectively intervene in, and assess, urban politics.
Introduction – Why study city politics and governance?
|Week 2||Multilevel governance|
|Week 3||Municipal leaders, decision making processes and city regions|
|Week 4||Urban regime theory and growth machines|
|Week 5||The policy making process|
|Week 6||Policy Challenges: Housing, climate change and transportation|
|Week 7||Elections and representation|
|Week 8||Urban Social movements and community activism|
|Week 9||World cities|
|Week 10||Planning the city|
|Week 11||Gentrification and the Spatialization of Inequality|
|Week 12||Democratic governance and public space|
|Week 13||Difference in the city|
|Week 14||Final Exam|
Matt Wadsworth, PhD (ABD); MPA
Transferability: see www.bctransferguide.ca