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Urban Regimes

Elsevier Ltd
DOI: 10.1016/b978-008044910-4.01075-0
  • Fordism
  • Governing Coalition
  • Pluralism
  • Public Choice
  • Regulation
  • Urban Governance
  • Urban Growth Machine
  • Urban Regime
  • Political Science


Urban regime theory was developed to explain post-World War II local politics in the US. It was developed as a critical response to pluralist theories of urban politics and an attempt to add historical and empirical specificity and agency to structural theories of urban politics. Scholars using the urban regime approach began to work in other political contexts and in doing so discovered deficiencies in extending the theory constructed within the US context. At the same time, other scholars studying urban politics began to highlight deficiencies in the theory even in the US context. These scholars are looking for an explanatory theory and have been attempting to articulate regime theory with more abstract theories, for example, regulation theory. Recently, urban regime theory has been fruitfully used in large-scale international comparative case studies. While regime theory research relies upon the case-study method, secondary analysis of extant cases is proving fruitful in the theory development.

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