In this talk I will present an overview of my current book project Protest and Development in Aspiring Global Cities. In the literature on competitive urban policy a special place is occupied by “wannabe world cities” (Short & Kim, 1999; Taylor, 2004), cities that lag closely behind those that have attained a dominant role and whose economic and political elites especially strive to improve global rankings. These cities most clearly reveal the politics behind urban competition, because they join high financial and bureaucratic capacity with powerful political leadership, and display a characteristic acceleration in redevelopment and a reliance on branding. To study popular resistance in this environment, the project selects the top two aspiring global cities in each of five world regions, and with a combination of archival work and in-depth interviews examines 30 cases of organized opposition to redevelopment over the last decade. The goal is to identify both the strategic conditions for successful mobilization, as well as the institutional conditions for actual policy impact by grassroots organizations.
Eleonora Pasotti is Associate Professor in the department of Politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her first book Political Branding in Cities: The Decline of Machine Politics in Bogotá, Naples and Chicago (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics, Cambridge University Press 2009) examined institutional change, the transformation of patronage politics, and representation.
The talk will be co-sponsored by GMS and the Political Science Department’s Comparative Politics Colloquium.