Neighborhood-Based Organizations as Political Actors: Implications for Political Participation, Inequality, and Climate Resilience
27 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2023
Date Written: July 1, 2023
Neighborhood-based organizations (NBOs) can be powerful political actors, shaping policy outcomes and strengthening accountability. Whose voices do they elevate, and to what extent might they reduce or exacerbate local socio-political inequality? While some NBOs may strengthen social capital and facilitate political participation for marginalized groups, others have been active forces in segregating communities. Their dueling roles are especially salient in a context of climate change, where NBOs play a key role in facilitating or preventing neighborhood-scale policies for climate change adaptation and hazard mitigation. We develop a framework of neighborhood-based organizations and their role in shaping service provision, adaptation planning, and disaster response, and we present preliminary survey data from a nationally representative U.S. sample. We distinguish between property owners associations (e.g. homeowners associations) and residential voluntary associations (e.g. neighborhood or community associations), and discuss how different types of NBOs interact with policymakers in complex institutional environments throughout the Global North and South, with implications for equity of climate adaptation and resilience.
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