Junior Workshop 7:
Politics in the Global City
Half of the world’s population currently lives in urban areas, and more than three-quarters of future population growth will occur in cities in the developing world. Such rapid growth has far-reaching social, economic, and political consequences. Much of this urban expansion will take place in informal, unplanned neighborhoods, where governments struggle to provide the most basic services. City residents tend to vote more for opposition politicians, expect more from their governments, and demand to be heard through protests, social media, and elections.
A range of research questions on the politics of cities can be pursued in this workshop: Who gets to migrate to cities in the first place, and when do governments try to control urban growth? Under what conditions are cities hotbeds of collective action, violence, and even revolution? What explains variation in governments’ willingness to provide housing, water, policing, and education to these new urban populations? How do political identities and organizing change when people move to cities? And how different is contemporary growth from the historical development of cities in advanced economies? Readings in this workshop will focus on recent research in comparative urban politics and will be used to discuss how to conduct research in political science, as well as some of the more specific challenges of studying cities and collecting data in developing countries.