Post-crash cities: the Great Recession, state restructuring and urban governance
Since 2007, the United States’ economy has forged a new normal, combining deep recession, economic reform, unprecedented stimulus spending, sequestration cuts, indefinite deficit spending, an unprecedented stretch of economic growth and sizable tax cuts. Understanding how this restructuring has reshaped urban government remains a work in progress. The chapter examines the currently competing characterizations of post-recession urban government in the United States: ‘austerity urbanism’ and ‘pragmatic municipalism’. The two characterizations are shown to differ on the key question of whether urban governance has converged (i.e. austerity urbanism) or diverged (i.e. pragmatic municipalism) over the past decade. Answering this question will require further research. If urban governance has converged around austerity, we can understand urban governance as bound up with broader state restructuring identified with a coming ‘legitimation crisis’. If urban government has been varied and diverged from nationwide austerity, local state restructuring requires a radically different theoretical approach.
Handbook on the Changing Geographies of the State: New Spaces of Geopolitics
Davidson, Mark, "Post-crash cities: the Great Recession, state restructuring and urban governance" (2020). Geography. 93.