Friday, February 20, 2015

From our January 2015 issue: Whose Politics? Reflections on Clarence Stone’s Regime Politics

  1. Michael Jones-Correa1
  2. Diane Wong1
  1. 1Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
  1. Michael Jones-Correa, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA. Email:


Stone’s retrospective article holds to the view of his earlier work that a city’s fundamental capacity to confront existential challenges is made possible only by the engagement of elite actors with the resources for sustained politics. In this article, we set out to illustrate ways in which actors marginal to regime politics—neighborhood organizations, nonprofits, labor movements, and immigrant groups—can offer examples of sustained politics that provide alternate agendas for city politics by looking at three different policy arenas in three different cities: housing in New York, labor rights in Los Angeles, and education in Detroit.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

From our January 2015 issue: Regime Politics in Geography

  1. Katherine B. Hankins1
  1. 1Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA
  1. Katherine B. Hankins, Department of Geosciences, Georgia State University, P.O. Box 3965, Atlanta, GA 30302, USA. Email:


At the current conjuncture of neoliberal urbanism, when more than 20 years have passed since scholars identified the retrenchment of the federal state from urban affairs and the shift from urban government to urban governance, those of us engaged in questions of urban politics have much yet to learn about the power relations in American cities. At the same time, we must recognize those key concepts and frameworks that have shaped our ability to understand both the processes involved in urban politics and the expressions of those processes, as they are manifest in concrete places and often, literally, in places made of concrete. The urban regime, as explained by Clarence Stone a quarter century ago in Regime Politics, is one such concept, as illustrated in a very compelling empirical investigation, that has shaped the lexicon of how we understand cities. Stone’s contribution came along at a time when geographers were grappling with understanding the local and the global and their relationship to capitalism. Geographers engaged regime theory in fits and starts with other conceptual innovations in the field, including the regulation approach, flat ontologies, and relational sense of place. If we apply these three conceptual innovations to the regime approach, as I argue we should, then we get a much more robust conceptual tool to understand the contemporary urban political landscape.

Monday, February 16, 2015

From our January 2015 issue: Urban Regime Theory and the Problem of Change

  1. Joel Rast1
  1. 1University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, USA
  1. Joel Rast, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Bolton Hall 626, P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, WI 53211, USA. Email:


The 25th anniversary of the publication of Clarence Stone’s Regime Politics presents an opportunity to consider ways of moving forward theoretically in a world that has begun to look much different from postwar Atlanta. In recent years, Stone has turned his attention from stability to change in urban governing arrangements, proposing American political development (APD) as a promising theoretical approach. While broadly in agreement with Stone about the advantages of APD for the study of urban political change, I identify some potential problems with his efforts to combine APD and regime analysis. In particular, I suggest that Stone more fully embrace APD’s emphasis on friction and disorder as a driver of change in governing arrangements and that the role of institutions, in addition to informal arrangements, be considered more directly in arguments about how change occurs.