Political Science | The Urban/Suburban Divide
Y200 | 4587 | Zeemering


The study of urban politics in America introduces students to the
myriad challenges facing American cities.  From the intricacies of
operating in a federalist system to the problems associated with
urban sprawl, gentrification, urban poverty and the provision of
various government services, urban politics courses provide an
understanding of the challenges of local government in America.
	This course will examine a related set of contemporary
political problems—the division between America’s urban centers and
the suburbs.  Study will begin with a brief overview of the
development of America’s suburbs.  The contemporary characteristics
of politics in suburban American will be analyzed.  The challenges
faced by cities and suburbs independently, and the challenges cities
and suburbs face collectively as metropolitan regions will be
examined.  The health and stability of suburban America will be
evaluated to find that central city problems have the capacity to be
region-wide problems.  Additionally, new policies and the concept
of “regional governance” will be evaluated.  An attempt will be made
to answer the question: how will contemporary problems in urban and
suburban America impact the future governmental landscape of where
Americans live, work and interact?
	Assignments will encourage students to identify problems in
their local political environment, compare these problems to problems
in suburbs and metropolitan areas nationally, critically evaluate
problems, and communicate clear policy evaluations and
recommendations in written form.  This exploration of the political
challenges facing America’s metropolitan regions will encourage
students to reflect on the extensive responsibilities of local
government in America.