ERIC Number: ED463341
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Community Building: The New (and Old) Politics of Urban Problem-Solving in the New Century. Faculty Research Working Paper Series.
Briggs, Xavier de Souza
This paper outlines major trends affecting both the nature of urban problems and the shape of much public interest problem-solving in the urban United States. Trends affecting cities and regions include the continued suburbanization of jobs, wealth, and political power; the evolution of a skill-intensive and networked global economy in which competitiveness is ultimately tested at the regional level; the decentralization of governance--including the devolution of key aspects of social policy to states and localities and deeper cultural demands that power be shared, that traditional authority and expertise are illegitimate; the marketization and nonprofitization of public responsibilities; and massive demographic change, in particular, the so-called "graying" and "browning" of America. Beyond a great deal of patience and courage, problem-solving in this context calls for specific civic skills--a reinvention of what de Tocqueville, in his landmark study of democracy in America 150 years ago, termed "the art of combining." Most urgent are the skills needed to confront five broad, recurrent challenges: learning together, organizing and shaping interests, seeking agreement and managing conflict, planning and deciding together, and producing together. (Contains 28 footnotes.) (Author/SM)
Descriptors: Community Development, Decentralization, Governance, Housing, Immigration, Low Income Groups, Political Issues, Problem Solving, Social Capital, Suburbs, Urban Areas
For full text: http://www.ksg.harvard.edu.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA. Kennedy School of Government.