Local politics in the United States once seemed tranquil compared to the divisiveness and dysfunction of the country’s national politics. Those days have passed. As multiple wide-ranging crises have thrust America’s local governments into the spotlight, they have also exposed policy failures and systemic problems that have mounted for years. While issues such as policing and the cost of housing are debated nationally, much of the policymaking surrounding these issues occurs locally. In Local Interests, Sarah F. Anzia explores how local governments—and the interest groups that try to influence them—create the policies that drive the national conversation: policing, economic development, housing, and challenges of taxing and spending.
Anzia examines local interest groups in terms of the specific policies they pursue, including how these groups get active in politics and what impact they have. By offering new perspectives on these issues, Anzia contributes to our knowledge of how interest groups function and the significant role they play in shaping broader social outcomes. Paul Pierson (Political Science) and Karen Trapenberg Frick (City and Regional Planning) will act as discussants.
Sarah F. Anzia is Associate Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley and a GMS faculty affiliate. She studies American politics with a focus on state and local government, interest groups, political parties, and public policy. In addition to Local Interests, she is the author of Timing and Turnout: How Off-Cycle Elections Favor Organized Groups (The University of Chicago Press, 2014).
This event is cosponsored by the Social Science Matrix and the Center for the Study of American Democracy.