Lecture "Cities and Politics in the Developing World: Recent Achievements and Avenues for Future Research"
Alison Post (University of California, Berkeley)
Date: December 11, 2019 (Wednesday) 15:00-16:30 (14:30 Open)

Venue: Room 549, Akamon General Research Building, Hongo Campus, University of Tokyo
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Speaker: Alison Post (Department of Political Science and Global Metropolitan Studies, UC Berkeley´╝ë

Abstract: The last 20 years have witnessed an impressive outpouring of political science research examining urban politics in the developing world, building on a broader wave of research on subnational politics. This work advances our understanding of phenomena such as clientelism, law and order, and local public goods provision. This research wave has also spurred methodological innovations, particularly in the use of spatial data. Scholarship could be strengthened, however, through more careful attention to how the urban setting of this research affects the politics examined. This lecture proposes two distinct ways in which urban politics can be conceptualized: politics taking place in urban agglomerations, characterized by large, diverse populations settled at high densities; or politics taking place within the boundaries of city jurisdictions, possessing legal powers and responsibilities distinct from those at other tiers of government or in rural areas. Adopting either of these conceptualizations illuminates new avenues for empirical work, theoretical innovation, and improved measurement. In this lecture, I will also shows that recent scholarship has neglected important, and fundamentally political, topics such as urban political economy, land markets, and environmental harms. Engaging with these areas would allow political scientists to revisit classic questions regarding the institutional influences on economic growth, the politics of redistribution, and the determinants of collective action.

Speaker Bio: Alison E. Post is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Global Metropolitan Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She also serves as the Co-Director of the Global Metropolitan Studies Program at Berkeley. Her research lies at the intersection of comparative urban politics and comparative political economy, focusing on Latin America and the developing world more broadly. It examines the political and institutional factors affecting vital urban services. Published and ongoing research focuses on the politics of regulation and business-government relations, decentralization, welfare state politics, and the effects of increasing government transparency. She is the author of Foreign and Domestic Investment in Argentina: The Politics of Privatized Infrastructure (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and articles in the Annual Review of Political Science, Comparative Politics, Governance, Perspectives on Politics, Politics & Society, Studies in Comparative International Development, World Development, and other outlets. She has been named a Clarence Stone Scholar (an early career award) by the Urban Politics Section of the American Political Science Association, and received U.C. Berkeley's campus-wide Carol D. Soc award for mentoring graduate students.
About Professor Post