Local Political Economy Symposium
At one time the study of urban politics represented a core part of the larger political science discipline. But, starting in the late 1960s, and for several decades thereafter, the sub-field languished. As political science moved toward the field of economics in its orientation, urban politics remained solidly apart.
However, the last 20 years have seen a resurgence in the field, largely driven by the availability of new and exciting sources of data — often through the digitization of historical Census data, local election returns, and sub-state opinion polls. These data have allowed interesting and important public policy questions to be examined from a causal perspective. Moreover, as politics at the national level has polarized, more and more policy issues are dealt with at the local level — lest governance stop altogether.
The Local Political Economy Symposium at USC brings together nationally renowned scholars who study the most pressing political-economic issues at the local level — from compensation of public employees, to municipal bankruptcy, to criminal justice reform.