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ECPR Press > Studies > The Political Ecology of the Metropolis

The Political Ecology of the Metropolis The Political Ecology of the Metropolis
Metropolitan Sources of Electoral Behaviour in Eleven Countries
Jefferey M  Sellers (Editor)
Daniel  Kübler (Editor)
R. Alan  Walks (Editor)
Melanie  Walter-Rogg (Editor)
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Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781907301445
Page Extent: 534 pp

Table of Contents:  View (pdf)
Sample Pages:  View (pdf)


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About the Book

This book is also available in hardback, ISBN 9781907301377

A growing majority of humanity lives in sprawling, interconnected urban regions. Diversified metropolitan geographies have replaced the centuries-old divide between urban and rural areas, and transformed the local sources of electoral politics. The resulting patterns of electoral support and participation have shifted axes of partisan competition to the right.

This volume undertakes the first international comparative analysis of metropolitan political behaviour. The results support a powerful new thesis to explain many recent shifts in political behaviour: the metropolitanisation of politics.

'The Political Ecology of the Metropolis is a volume packed with fascinating analyses and findings, offering a wealth of data and insights into the role of the metropolis in shaping political participation and citizen engagement. The author(s) of each chapter each bring a unique voice to the question of how we can better understand political participation by considering its metropolitan foundations. Aggregately, this work reminds us of the importance of using different levels of analysis and varied analytical lenses to tackle important political questions. This book will certainly serve as an important guidepost for many generations of researchers working on the topic of political participation. It is relevant for those working within specific countries as well as individuals who are interested in more large-n comparative studies. Down the road, it will be exciting to see how the perspectives of this volume, its authors, and editors contribute to the continued theoretical refinement regarding how we understand and analyse political participation in light of the changing landscape of local governments and metropolitan regions.'
Christine Kelleher Palus
Villanova University
from the Journal of Politics, Volume 76, No. 4, October 2014

‘The authors have gathered an unprecedented amount of electoral data, which gives the thesis of metropolitanisation a solid empirical grounding. Also the analytical operations and the interpretation of the data are important steps beyond the methodological status quo. Last but not least, the cross-national comparison sheds light on the scope of the metropolitanisation thesis, hitherto largely considered to be a North American (and in particular US) phenomenon. With the integration of several European countries and Israel into the study, we now have a much clearer picture of metropolitanisation’s impact on politics…. an impressive piece of academic work for two reasons: it contributes to an existing strand of research and sets a new standard for it; and it is the result of passionate collaboration within a long-term research process.’
Karsten Zimmerman
Technical University Dortmund
from the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Volume 39, Issue 1, January 2015

'Based on a painstaking empirical analysis of no less than eleven country cases, this study documents the pervasiveness and importance of the re-territorialisation of politics in a globalised world. This return of territory is not patterned along cleavages as we know them, but based on new territorialised contrasts within and between metropolitan areas. The thought-provoking study draws our attention to the challenge the metropolitanisation of politics poses to national parties and democratic traditions.'
Hanspeter Kriesi, Stein Rokkan Chair for Comparative Politics, European University Institute

'This virtuoso work of comparative politics is filled with insights about how places condition politics. This magisterial achievement gathers uniform electoral data from different parts of the main metropolitan areas of the US, Canada, Western and Eastern Europe, and Israel, analyses them using the same methods, including multi-level analysis, and paints a definitive portrait of the changing metropolitan political terrains and their implications for national politics. A must-read for all those interested in the geography of politics.'
Professor John Mollenkopf, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology, The Graduate Center, City University of New York

'This book starts from the observation that in recent years urbanised centres have emerged all over the world whilst also influencing their surrounding areas. Against the background of this metropolitanisation of contemporary societies, the authors reflect critically on the widespread assumption that national institutions and national political cleavages determine political conflicts, party structures and voting behaviour, not only at national but also at regional and local levels. Has the emergence of metropolitan regions changed the conditions on which this assumption has been based? And, in which way do the new metropolitanised spatial structures impact on political behaviour in metropolitan regions? These are the questions tackled by an international research team over the last ten years. The results published in this book are thought-provoking because it clearly shows that to understand political processes in contemporary societies we have to take what the authors call the newly evolved metropolitan political ecology seriously.'
Hubert Heinelt, Professor for Public Administration, Institute of Political Science, Technische Universität Darmstadt

'This sophisticated and detailed empirical analysis of political participation and partisanship in a range of countries successfully challenges the dominant nationalisation thesis that where you live increasingly does not matter to your political outlook and behaviour. In a world that is increasingly organised socio-spatially in terms of metropolitan regions, the social settings provided by metropolitan places now crucially shape the contours of mass politics. Studies can no longer ignore the critical place contexts identified so clearly in this path-breaking volume.'
John Agnew, Distinguished Professor of Geography , University of California

'Metropolitan space matters, whether for electoral turnout or the alignment of political parties in post-industrial democracies. And the effect of space is not simply that of compositional processes aggregating citizens of particular types and convictions in the same places. There is a political effect sui generis following from people converging in dense metropolitan areas or living in dispersed open spaces. This book constitutes an ambitious and comprehensive undertaking to drive this point home, convincing in its empirical scope, depth and rigour. It also poses new puzzles: what exactly is the experience of social space that makes people update their political dispositions? And dynamically, are people drawn to spaces that exercise such effects?'
Herbert Kitschelt, George V Allen Professor of International Relations, Duke University


  Pub Date:

June 2013


Daniel  Kübler (Contributor)
Henry  Bäck (Contributor)
Daniel  Čermák (Contributor)
Anna  Hazan (Contributor)
Vincent  Hoffmann-Martinot (Contributor)
Tomáš  Kostelecký (Contributor)
Clemente J  Navarro (Contributor)
Eran  Razin (Contributor)
Philippe  Rochat (Contributor)
Pawel  Swianiewicz (Contributor)
Urs  Scheuss (Contributor)
Jana  Vobecká (Contributor)


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