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Cities and the Health of the Public Cover

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Cities and the Health of the Public

Edited by Nicholas Freudenberg, Sandro Galea, and David Vlahov

The essays commissioned for this book analyze the impact of city living on health, focusing primarily on conditions in the United States. With 16 chapters by 24 internationally recognized experts, the book introduces an ecological approach to the study of the health of urban populations. This book assesses the primary determinants of well-being in cities, including the social and physical environments, diet, and health care and social services. The book includes chapters on the history of public health in cities, the impact of urban sprawl and urban renewal on health, and the challenges facing cities in the developing world. It also examines conditions such as infectious diseases, violence and disasters, and mental illness.

Cities for Sale Cover

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Cities for Sale

Municipalities as Public Relations and Marketing Firms

Examines how US cities have adopted the tactics of public relations and marketing firms to “brand” themselves.

Citizen Lawmakers Cover

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Citizen Lawmakers

"[B]oth an engrossing history and a guide showing how citizens can make their own laws directly, at the ballot box, when elected officials are unresponsive." —Ralph Nader After decades of disuse, a startling upsurge in the use of the Initiative and Referendum—law-making by citizen petition and popular vote—occurred in the 1970s and 1980s. In Citizen Lawmakers, David Schmidt tells the stories of the individual activists, such as Howard Jarvis and Ed Koupal, and the political groups that made this happen. While other studies have analyzed the statistics of the ballot initiative revolution, this book provides the personal, political, and historical contexts vital to understanding the causes and the tremendous impact of the trend toward ballot-box lawmaking over the last two decades. Schmidt demonstrates how "ordinary individuals, even in this age of monstrous bureaucracies and larger-than-life celebrities, can, and do, change this nation’s laws to make government more accountable." Although still neglected in contemporary political science texts, the initiative process has become the most dynamic, innovative arena of American politics. Between 1968 and 1982, the number of voter-initiated propositions on state ballots increased from 10 to 60, with issues moving from purely local to national movements, such as the Tax Revolt (heralded by California’s Proposition 13 in 1978), "Motor Voter" initiatives started in Arizona and Colorado, Bottle Bills and non-smoking ordinances, and the Nuclear Weapons Freeze votes of 1982. As the editor of a nationwide newsletter on the subject and a participant in some of the initiative and referendum campaigns he describes, David Schmidt brings to the writing a wealth of first-hand detail. After tracing the historical origins of the Initiative and Referendum, the book focuses on case studies of the most widespread ballot issues and the most prominent initiative campaign promoters in the 1970s and 1980s. Discussing recent efforts to put national initiative lawmaking rights into the federal Constitution, Schmidt makes a case for the ballot initiative process as an essential complement and corrective to the American system of lawmaking by elected representatives. Citizen Lawmakers is also a handbook for activists. From his experiences in many states, Schmidt provides advice on gathering signatures, complying with state regulations, gaining media coverage, combating opponents’ tactics, and raising money. This book concludes with appendixes that give a state-by-state capsule history of initiative use and voting results for each of the fifty states and include the results of the votes on propositions from the November 1988 election. "As one of the nation's leading authorities on the referendum and initiative processes, David Schmidt has prepared a thoughtful, positive overview of one of the most significant electoral phenomena of our time." —Edmund G. Brown, Jr., former Governor of California "The definitive work on citizens and ballot initiatives.... This study offers citizen activists a manual on how to run a citizen campaign during the ballot initiative revolution and presents, in the appendixes, a comprehensive data on initiative voting in each of the states. The contribution to citizen activism and participatory democracy is the most significant characteristic of Schmidt's volume. The book is well written, well researched, and important. Strongly recommended for citizens interested in being counted once again in the American political system." —Choice "An important work that addresses a wide audience.... Unlike much of the work written on the subject, this book provides the reader with both the historical perspective and empirical data.... This work should be read by those interested in the political process." —Perspectives on Political Science "The book may convince some readers that ordinary people make better policy than politicians do." —California Lawyer "Important reading for those who aspire to influence public policy.... [Schmidt] is at his absolute best and the book is at its most invaluable when it focuses on how to effectively us I&R." —Chicago Enterprise

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Citizenship and Governance in a Changing City

Somerville, MA

Overcoming a past of deteriorating homes, empty storefronts, and corrupt city administrations, Somerville, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston, today proudly defines itself as a longtime immigrant city, a historically blue collar town, and a hip new urban center with a progressive city government.

In Citizenship and Governance in a Changing City, Susan Ostrander shows how beneath current high levels of engagement by Somerville residents lies a struggle about who should be the city's elected leaders and how they should conduct the city's affairs. It is a struggle waged between diverse residents--relatively new immigrants and a new middle class-trying to gain a foothold in democratic participation, and the city's political "old guard." 

Citizenship and Governance in a Changing City informs current debates about the place of immigrants in civic and political life, and the role of voluntary associations in local politics and government. In the process, Ostrander provides useful lessons for many midsize urban communities.
 

The City After Abandonment Cover

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The City After Abandonment

Edited by Margaret Dewar and June Manning Thomas

A number of U.S. cities, former manufacturing centers of the Northeast and Midwest, have suffered such dramatic losses in population and employment that urban experts have put them in a class by themselves, calling them "rustbelt cities," "shrinking cities," and more recently "legacy cities." This decline has led to property disinvestment, extensive demolition, and abandonment. While much policy and planning have focused on growth and redevelopment, little research has investigated the conditions of disinvested places and why some improvement efforts have greater impact than others.

The City After Abandonment brings together essays from top urban planning experts to focus on policy and planning issues related to three questions. What are cities becoming after abandonment? The rise of community gardens and artists' installations in Detroit and St. Louis reveal numerous unexamined impacts of population decline on the development of these cities. Why these outcomes? By analyzing post-hurricane policy in New Orleans, the acceptance of becoming a smaller city in Youngstown, Ohio, and targeted assistance to small areas of Baltimore, Cleveland, and Detroit, this book assesses how varied institutions and policies affect the process of change in cities where demand for property is very weak. What should abandoned areas of cities become? Assuming growth is not a choice, this book assesses widely cited formulas for addressing vacancy; analyzes the sustainability plans of Cleveland, Buffalo, Philadelphia, and Baltimore; suggests an urban design scheme for shrinking cities; and lays out ways policymakers and planners can approach the future through processes and ideas that differ from those in growing cities.

City and Environment Cover

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City and Environment

For the first time in history, more than half the people of the world live in cities. Comprehending the impact of this widespread urbanization requires an awareness of the complex relationships between cities and natural ecosystems. This innovative book moves beyond the anti-urban lamentations that often dominate today's academic discourse to examine the evolution of cities and to illuminate the roles that humans play in shaping their environments, both natural and constructed. Christopher G. Boone and Ali Modarres argue that understanding the multiple forces of urbanization requires a holistic approach to the interactions of social, cultural, economic, political, and environmental factors. Without casting judgments, City and Environment seeks to engage readers in an exploration of cities from a truly global perspective. Throughout, it illuminates the social-ecological systems of cities not as an academic exercise—although informing academic audiences is one of its goals—but ultimately to help transform cities into livable and ecologically sustainable environments.

City of Industry Cover

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City of Industry

Genealogies of Power in Southern California

Victor Valle

City of Industry is a stunning expose on the construction of corporate capitalist spaces. Investigating Industry's archives, including sealed FBI reports, Valle uncovered a series of scandals from the city's founder James M. Stafford to present day corporate heir Edward Roski Jr., the nation's biggest industrial developer. While exposing the corruption and corporate greed spawned from the growth of new technology and engineering, Valle reveals the plight of the property-owning servants, especially Latino working-class communities, who have fallen victim to the effects of this tale of corporate greed.

City--County Consolidation Cover

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City--County Consolidation

Promises Made, Promises Kept?

Suzanne M. Leland and Kurt Thurmaier, Editors

Although a frequently discussed reform, campaigns to merge a major municipality and county to form a unified government fail to win voter approval eighty per cent of the time. One cause for the low success rate may be that little systematic analysis of consolidated governments has been done.

In City--County Consolidation, Suzanne Leland and Kurt Thurmaier compare nine city--county consolidations -- incorporating data from 10 years before and after each consolidation -- to similar cities and counties that did not consolidate. Their groundbreaking study offers valuable insight into whether consolidation meets those promises made to voters to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of these governments.

The book will appeal to those with an interest in urban affairs, economic development, local government management, general public administration, and scholars of policy, political science, sociology, and geography.

Civic Culture and Urban Change Cover

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Civic Culture and Urban Change

Governing Dallas

Royce Hanson

Civic Culture and Urban Change analyzes the Dallas government’s adaptation to shifts in its demography and economic structure that occurred after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. The book examines civic culture as a product of a governing regime and the constraints it placed on the capacity of the city to adapt to changes in its population, economy, and the distribution of political power. Royce Hanson traces the impact of civic culture in Dallas over the past forty years upon the city’s handling of major crises in education, policing, and management of urban development and shows the reciprocal effect of those responses on the development of civic capital. Hanson relates the city’s civic culture to its economic history and political institutions by following the progression of Dallas governance from business oligarchy to regency of professional managers and federal judges. He studies the city’s responses to school desegregation, police–minority conflicts, and other issues to illuminate the role civic and organizational cultures play in shaping political tactics and policy. Hanson builds a profile of political life in Dallas that highlights the city’s low voter turnouts, sparse civic and political networks, and relative lack of multiracial institutions and mechanisms. Civic Culture and Urban Change summarizes the "solution sets" Dallas employs in dealing with major issues, and discusses the implications of those findings for the future of effective democracy in Dallas and other large cities.

A Civil Economy Cover

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A Civil Economy

Transforming the Marketplace in the Twenty-First Century

Severyn T. Bruyn

A civil society is one in which a democratic government and a market economy operate together. The idea of the civil economy--encompassing a democratic government and a market economy--presumes that people can solve social problems within the market itself. This book explores the relationship between the two, examining the civil underpinnings of capitalism and investigating the way a civil economy evolves in history and is developed for the future by careful planning. Severyn T. Bruyn describes how people in three sectors--government, business, and the Third Sector (nonprofits and civil groups)--can develop an accountable, self-regulating, profitable, humane, and competitive system of markets that could be described as a civil economy. He examines how government officials can organize markets to reduce government costs; how local leaders deal with global corporations that would unfairly exploit their community resources; and how employees can become coparticipants in the development of human values in markets. A Civil Economy is oriented to interdiciplinary studies of the economy, assisting scholars in diverse fields, such as business management, sociology, political science, and economics, in developing a common language to examine civic problems in the marketplace. As an undergraduate text, it evokes a mode of thought about the development of a self-accountable system of markets. Students learn to understand how the market economy becomes socially accountable and self-reliant, while remaining productive, competitive, and profitable. Sveryn T. Bruyn is Professor of Sociology, Boston College.

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