Urban Entrepreneurialism in an Era of Growth Coalition Instability

What does urban entrepreneurialism look like if we get away from the global cities?

Can we take a less global-city-centric approach to urban entrepreneurialism?

The annual meeting for the Association of American Geographers is coming up in a few weeks, and I’m getting my paper presentation prepared. The talk I’ll be giving is part of a paper session titled “Revisiting Entrepreneurialism: The Logics of Urban Governance in Systemic Crisis”, and looks like it will be an interesting set of papers.

My contribution is “Urban Entrepreneurialism in an Era of Growth Coalition Instability”, and here is the abstract:

A key premise of urban entrepreneurialism is the ubiquity of local growth coalitions—the fact that a coherent group of local elites is able to assemble to advance its common place-bound interests through market-oriented governance strategies. And indeed, much of the explanatory strength of theories of urban entrepreneurialism derives from the historical unity of cities in the Global North both as common labour and property markets and as institutional arenas for local politics, a unity which has traditionally given rise to strong local growth coalitions. But in this paper, I argue that this unity is disintegrating, and is giving way to conditions of endemic growth coalition instability. Despite the persistence of imperatives towards local entrepreneurialism, local elites are increasingly forced to look for new institutional configurations to address the regulatory problems they encounter at the local scale, and the result is a proliferation of governance strategies at multiple spatial scales. This paper explores the contours of growth coalition instability through a comparison of emerging multi-city economic partnerships uniting growth coalitions across multiple cities and regions in the United States, and concludes by taking stock of what we might term a new “post-city politics”.

The session is Thursday, April 23 at 8:00 AM in Skyway 272, Hyatt, East Tower, Blue Level.

I’ll also be a panelist later that day on a similar theme: “The Entrepreneurial City Reconsidered: New Agendas and Diverse Geographies”. The panel is Thursday, April 23 at 1:20 PM, also in Skyway 272, Hyatt, East Tower, Blue Level.

Finally, I will be a discussant for one session of a multi-session extravaganza on “The Urban Political at a Time of Late Neoliberalism”, organized by Theresa Enright and Ugo Rossi. My panel is called “Repoliticizing the Urban Political”, and it is Thursday, April 23 at 5:20 PM in Columbus G, Hyatt, East Tower, Gold Level.