City and Regime in the American Republic
The present workings of American urban political institutions are, Elkin maintains, characterized by a close relationship between politicians and businessmen, a relationship that promotes neither political equality nor effective social problem-solving. Elkin pays particular attention to the issue of land-use in his analysis of these failures of popular control in traditional city politics. Urban political institutions, however, are not just instruments for the dispensing of valued outcomes or devices for social problem-solving—they help to form the citizenry. Our present institutions largely define citizens as interest group adversaries and do little to encourage them to focus on the commercial public interest of the city. Elkin concludes by proposing new institutional arrangements that would be better able to harness the self-interested behavior of individuals for the common good of a commercial republic.
2. City, State, and Market
3. Urban Political Economies
4. An Entrepreneurial Political Economy
5. Systematic Bias and Effective Problem Solving
6. City and Regime
7. A Commercial Republic?
8. The Commercial Public Interest and the Urban Citizenry
9. The Probable and the Desirable
10. Some Considerations on Political Judgment