Governing the large metropolis. A research agenda
Paris : Sciences Po - Institut d'études politiques de Paris
Working papers du Programme Cities are Back in Town : 2013-06
Our starting point is to challenge the often-made assumption that large cities are so complex that they have become ungovernable or that globalization pressures make political and policy choices irrelevant. By going beyond rational or positivist views of governance, it argues that the process of governing a city is never fully complete, nor linear. The paper refers to a systematic review of the academic literature. Urban societies are more or less governed and that may change from one city to the next, from one period to the next. Processes of government and governance are always work in progress, but make crucial differences over time. Case studies show that modes of governance have long-term consequences for their inhabitants and governing failures may have severe negative effects (e.g. housing shortages, low levels of educational attainment, crime, low productivity, health). The systematic analysis of the literature shows the need to describe and document at the same time (1) how processes of governance operate in relation to major urban development projects, the implementation of public policies and (2) the implications of such practices for inequalities; so to say articulating an analysis of the governance processes and their outcomes. The paper suggests that the link between metropolitan governance and inequalities allow considering inequalities not only as the outcomes of policy choices, but also as part of the way in which metropolitan policies are implemented.