Southern City Politics: Redefining the Study of Urban Politics and New Issues in the U.S. South

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Recent scholarship in American urban politics focuses on suburban, metropolitan, and national policies towards urban areas. But to what degree do contemporary urban settings in the South fit models of urban studies and politics? Do we need a new urban political theory to capture the unique qualities of southern cities? How has each southern city approached its particular issues through imaginative reconstruction, offering a prescription that involves urban planning, economic development, redistricting, or some other creative approach to decision-making? A book that focuses on the crises and creative political solutions of Southern cities is long overdue in order to address these questions. Southern City Politics argues that the field of urban politics and urban studies must be expanded to include the southern city, shifting the focus beyond northern and Midwestern cities and urban areas to the South. Sarita Gregory concentrates on the problems and issues facing southern cities in a comparative light, featuring cities from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana, Virginia, Florida, and Mississippi. Gregory uses a multiple methods approach of regional survey data and polling analysis combined with case studies, news articles, and published interviews with Southern city administrators, elected officials, and citizen action groups to show the challenges that many southern cities face. Southern City Politics will help students understand how southern cities are dealing with issues of growth, sprawl, racial diversity, immigration, economic development, and natural and man-made crises. This is an invaluable addition to courses in urban politics and Southern politics alike, as well as relevant to the areas of urban studies generally, race and ethnicity, and political sociology.