This book is available as a paperback, ISBN 9781907301445
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
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.’
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 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.'
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.'
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, and have influenced 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 how 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 they show clearly that to understand political processes in contemporary societies we have to take what the authors call the newly evolved metropolitan political ecology seriously.'
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.'
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?'
George V Allen Professor of International Relations, Duke University