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Journal ArticleDOI

Questioning the use of ‘local democracy’ as a discursive strategy for political mobilization in Los Angeles, Montreal and Toronto

01 Dec 2003-International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (Blackwell Publishing Ltd.)-Vol. 27, Iss: 4, pp 793-810
TL;DR: The use of local democracy as a legitimizing tool for territorial claims may point to the emergence of a new generalized discursive strategy as mentioned in this paper, which highlights the processes by which socio-political movements mobilize residents to their cause while avoiding accusations of NIMBYism.
Abstract: Between 1997 and 2002, homeowners in various parts of Los Angeles sought to secede from the City. At the same time, in Toronto, the province of Ontario forced the amalgamation of six municipalities forming a new megacity of 2.4 million. Residents mobilized for several months. In 2000, the province of Quebec forced the merger of 28 local municipalities in Montreal, forming a new city of 1.8 million. Angst came mostly from suburban Anglophone municipalities, where it was felt mergers would affect linguistic privileges. In the three cases, but stemming from different positions on the Left-Right political spectrum, social actors claimed more local autonomy ‘in the name of local democracy’. Comparing these cases where institutional reforms and claims for local autonomy captured the political agenda, the article asks whether the use of ‘local democracy’ as a legitimizing tool for territorial claims may point to the emergence of a new generalized discursive strategy. Comparing variations in interpretations, and locating them in their respective local political cultures and in relation to the political positioning of claiming groups, highlights the processes by which socio-political movements mobilize residents to their cause while avoiding accusations of NIMBYism. In the end, the article questions the moral tone attached to the expression ‘local democracy’. Entre 1997 et 2002, les proprietaires d'habitation de plusieurs zones de Los Angeles ont cherchea se separer de la ville. Dans le meme temps, a Toronto, la province d'Ontario forcait l'unification de six municipalites en une nouvelle mega-cite de 2.4 millions d'âmes; les habitants se sont mobilises pendant plusieurs mois. En 2000, la province de Quebec a impose la fusion de 28 municipalites locales dans Montreal, constituant une nouvelle ville de 1.8 million de personnes; l'angoisse est nee surtout des municipalites suburbaines anglophones qui craignaient pour leurs privileges linguistiques. Meme si, dans les trois cas, leur position differe dans l'eventail politique Gauche-Droite, les acteurs sociaux ont revendique davantage d'autonomie ‘au nom de la democratie locale’. En comparant ces cas, ou reformes institutionnelles et demandes d'autonomie locale ont accapare le calendrier politique, l'article cherche a savoir si l'usage de la ‘democratie locale’ pour justifier des revendications territoriales pourrait reveler l'emergence d'une nouvelle strategie discursive generalisee. Faire un parallele entre les variations d'interpretations — en les situant dans leurs cultures politiques locales respectives et par rapport a la position politique des groupes de contestation — met en lumiere les processus qui permettent aux mouvements socio-politiques de mobiliser les residents a leur cause sans etre accuses de NIMBYisme. Pour finir, l'article s'interroge sur la coloration morale de l'expression ‘democratie locale’.
Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue against the local trap, the tendency to assume that the local scale is preferable to other scales, and argue that local scales are not always preferable.
Abstract: This paper argues against the local trap-the tendency to assume that the local scale is preferable to other scales. The local trap is an important problem in the recent explosion of research on urb...

409 citations


Cites background from "Questioning the use of ‘local democ..."

  • ...While some have begun to question if localised decision-making is necessarily good (Peterman, 1999; Mohan and Stokke, 2000; Boudreau, 2003), the prevailing wisdom follows Latendresse’s (2004, p. 40) logic about Montreal, that “by decentralizing power to the boroughs, the Montréal megacity created…...

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Journal ArticleDOI
Ash Amin1
TL;DR: Can the contemporary city qualify as the topos of the good life, as it has in classical literature on human emancipation? As geographical entities, cities are hardly discernible places with distinc...
Abstract: Can the contemporary city qualify as the topos of the good life, as it has in classical literature on human emancipation? As geographical entities, cities are hardly discernible places with distinc...

303 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Miller et al. as discussed by the authors trace the incorporation of Lakewood Plan cities, municipalities which contract with the county for the provision of basic--which is to say minimal--services, and show that the Lakewood plan is shown in this book to be a precursor of the full-scale tax revolt that was to break out a generation later.
Abstract: The battle line in the urban conflict lies between the central city and the affluent suburb. The city, needing to broaden its tax base in order to provide increasingly necessary social services, has sought to annex the suburb. The latter, in order to hold down property taxes, has sought independence through incorporation.\"Cities by Contract\" documents and dissects this process through case studies of communities located in Los Angeles County. The book traces the incorporation of \"Lakewood Plan\" cities, municipalities which contract with the county for the provision of basic--which is to say minimal--services.The Lakewood plan is shown in this book to be a precursor of the full-scale tax revolt that was to break out a generation later. Miller points out that the settlers of these communities \"voted with their feet\" for lower taxes, lower levels of government spending on welfare and other social services, and a lower degree of bureaucratic intrusion into their affairs, much as in 1978 Californians statewide were to express the same desires and objectives at the ballot box by overwhelmingly backing the Jarvas-Gann initiative, Proposition 13.The book is one of the first on urban politics to combine the modeling techniques of microeconomics with the statistical analysis of data taken from interviews and documents. Still, the essential messages of the book are fully carried by its prose arguments and by the case studies.

153 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors examine how a focus on the local opens up new avenues of enquiry in urban governance, arguing that the local state, and more broadly the logic of the local, remains divorced from accounts of urban governance.
Abstract: The local state, and more broadly the logic of the local, remains divorced from accounts of urban governance. Addressing this omission, this article examines how a focus on the local opens up new avenues of enquiry in urban governance. It first discusses the interactions of the ‘urban’ and the ‘local’, analysing the significance of both to an understanding of neoliberalism in action. It then evaluates the opportunities and challenges that emerge from the multiple interplays of the ‘local’ and the ‘urban’, setting out five focal points for the exploration of the local: understandings of ‘crisis’; politics, meaning and affect; agency and regulatory intermediaries; the turn to practice; and place and comparison. The article concludes by calling for the study of local practices, in ways that recognise the multiple logics at play in different conjunctures, and the spaces such ambiguities and ‘messiness’ open up for different forms of situated agency.

131 citations


Cites background from "Questioning the use of ‘local democ..."

  • ...And, as Boudreau (2003) demonstrates in her study of social movements in Los Angeles, Montreal and Toronto, these demands for local democracy offer different framings of the local, which stand in opposition to local government and traditional representative democracy....

    [...]

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article reviewed recent contributions that have fruitfully investigated the tension between deliberation and governance in a more systematic fashion, and concluded that our understanding of those issues is significantly improved by a research agenda that pursues an integrated approach.
Abstract: Over the last decade scholars of urban governance and deliberative democracy have produced large literatures. Theorists of deliberative democracy have conceptualized the normative implications of ‘deliberation’ and explored real-world decision-making arrangements that approximate those ideals. Scholars of urban governance have theorized and explored the outcomes of different institutional arrangements for the governance of cities and regions. Whereas empirical democratic theory has increasingly been interested in local contexts, researchers of urban governance have been progressively more concerned about the implications of emerging patterns of urban governance for democratic accountability. However, despite the recent mutual interest among researchers in both fields, debates within these literatures frequently ignore each other and are not systematic. This introductory article reviews recent contributions that have fruitfully investigated the tension between deliberation and governance in a more systematic fashion, and concludes that our understanding of those issues is significantly improved by a research agenda that pursues an integrated approach.

111 citations

References
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, Frame alignment, of one variety or another, is a necessary condition for participation, whatever its nature or intensity, and that it is typically an interactional and ongoing accomplishment.
Abstract: This paper attempts to further theoretical and empirical understanding of adherent and constituent mobilization by proposing and analyzing frame alignment as a conceptual bridge linking social psychological and resource mobilization views on movement participation. Extension of Goffinan's (1974) frame analytic perspective provides the conceptualltheoretical framework; field research on two religious movements, the peace movement, and several neighborhood movements provide the primary empirical base. Four frame alignment processes are identified and elaborated: frame bridging, frame amplification, frame extension, and frame transformation. The basic underlying premise is that frame alignment, of one variety or another, is a necessary condition for participation, whatever its nature or intensity, and that it is typically an interactional and ongoing accomplishment. The paper concludes with an elaboration of several sets of theoretical and research implications.

5,347 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The public philosophy of contemporary liberalism is discussed in this article, with a focus on privacy rights and family law in the context of the Procedural Republic and its economic model. But the focus is on individual privacy rights rather than individual privacy.
Abstract: Preface PART I: THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PROCEDURAL REPUBLIC 1. The Public Philosophy of Contemporary Liberalism 2. Rights and the Neutral State 3. Religious Liberty and Freedom of Speech 4. Privacy Rights and Family Law PART II: THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF CITIZENSHIP 5. Economics and Virtue in the Early Republic 6. Free Labor versus Wage Labor 7. Community, Self-Government, and Progressive Reform 8. Liberalism and the Keynesian Revolution 9. The Triumph and Travail of the Procedural Republic Conclusion: In Search of a Public Philosophy Notes Index

1,023 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Cities and Citizenship as discussed by the authors is a prize-winning collection of essays that considers the importance of cities in the making of modern citizens and argues that cities are crucial places for the development of new alignments of local and global identity.
Abstract: Cities and Citizenship is a prize-winning collection of essays that considers the importance of cities in the making of modern citizens. For most of the modern era the nation and not the city has been the principal domain of citizenship. This volume demonstrates, however, that cities are especially salient sites for examining the current renegotiations of citizenship, democracy, and national belonging. Just as relations between nations are changing in the current phase of global capitalism, so too are relations between nations and cities. Written by internationally prominent scholars, the essays in Cities and Citizenship propose that “place” remains fundamental to these changes and that cities are crucial places for the development of new alignments of local and global identity. Through case studies from Africa, Europe, Latin America, and North America, the volume shows how cities make manifest national and transnational realignments of citizenship and how they generate new possibilities for democratic politics that transform people as citizens. Previously published as a special issue of Public Culture that won the 1996 Best Single Issue of a Journal Award from the Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers, the collection showcases a photo essay by Cristiano Mascaro, as well as two new essays by James Holston and Thomas Bender. Cities and Citizenship will interest students and scholars of anthropology, geography, sociology, planning, and urban studies, as well as globalization and political science. Contributors . Arjun Appadurai, Etienne Balibar, Thomas Bender, Teresa P. R. Caldeira, Mamadou Diouf, Dilip Parameshwar Gaonkar, James Holston, Marco Jacquemet, Christopher Kamrath, Cristiano Mascaro, Saskia Sassen, Michael Watts, Michel Wieviorka

830 citations

Book
01 Jan 2002
TL;DR: Isin this paper proposes a counter-history to notions of citizenship as otherness, presenting a powerful critique of universalistic and orientalist interpretations of the origins of citizenship and a persuasive alternative history of the present struggles over citizenship.
Abstract: BACK COVER: 'A provocative counterhistory—and a bold new approach—to notions of citizenship. What does it mean to be political? Every age has based its answer on citizenship, bequeathing us such indelible images as that of the Greek citizen exercising his rights and obligations in the agora, the Roman citizen conducting himself in the forum, medieval citizens receiving their charter before the guildhall. Being Political disrupts these images by approaching citizenship as otherness, presenting a powerful critique of universalistic and orientalist interpretations of the origins of citizenship and a persuasive alternative history of the present struggles over citizenship. Who were the strangers and outsiders of citizenship? What strategies and technologies were invented for constituting those forms of otherness? Focusing on these questions, rather than on the images conveyed by history's victors, Being Political offers a series of genealogies of citizenship as otherness. Engin F. Isin invokes the city as a "difference machine," recovering slaves, peasants, artisans, prostitutes, vagabonds, savages, flextimers, and squeegee men in the streets of the polis, civitas, metropolis, and cosmopolis. The result is a challenge to think in bolder terms about citizenship at a time when the nature of citizenship is an increasingly open question.'

540 citations