Ideas, Coalition Building, and Political Development in the City: Urban Policy and Politics in the U.S. and the U.K., 1976-2000

45 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2011 Last revised: 22 Sep 2014

Date Written: August 15, 2011

Abstract

As New Deal liberalism and Keynesianism unraveled in the 1970s, a set of neoliberal ideas came to dominate the political landscape in the United States and Britain. Nowhere was this shift more consequential than in cities. The primary urban impact of the neoliberal turn was reduced levels of aid from central government. But both the incoming governments of the right under Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher also had ambitious urban policy proposals that reflected their shared commitment to reconstituting the relationship between the state and the market. Most notably, they both offered the enterprise zone, a policy which symbolized their commitment to market forces. In the U.K. local institutions would be further transformed by the creation of Urban Development Corporations (UDCs). This paper posits two distinct processes by which urban neoliberalization occurs: neoliberalism by design and neoliberalism by default. The cases of London Docklands and Philadelphia respectively illustrate these patterns of political development.

Keywords: Urban, neoliberalism, Philadelphia, London, Docklands, enterprise zones, urban development corporations, Thatcher, Reagan

Suggested Citation

Weaver, Timothy, Ideas, Coalition Building, and Political Development in the City: Urban Policy and Politics in the U.S. and the U.K., 1976-2000 (August 15, 2011). APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1903162

Timothy Weaver (Contact Author)

University of Louisville ( email )

Louisville, KY 40292
United States

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