Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Goodbye, Steeltown The Politics of Space in Pittsburgh and Hamilton
by Neumann, Tracy, Ph.D., New York University, 2011, 501; 3466949
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation uses the history of deindustrialization in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Hamilton, Ontario, to tell a larger story about the incremental dismantling of the welfare state and its replacement with neoliberal “free market” solutions to urban problems on both sides of the US-Canadian border. The study focuses on the relationship between urban policy, neoliberal state formation, spatial change, and urban citizenship between 1968 and 1994. In seeking ways to reverse urban decline, elite-led political and business coalitions in Pittsburgh and Hamilton turned to public policies and institutional arrangements best described as “neoliberal.” Archival research on national, state/provincial, and local urban and economic development policies, together with an analysis of local spatial change and social conflict, shows that neoliberal ideology served as an ex post facto legitimation of existing policies that privatized and decentralized urban governance. The project contributes to a more complicated understanding of the decline of liberalism and the rise of the right by demonstrating that neoliberalism emerged simultaneously across levels of government, geographical regions, and national borders. Working within a transnational and comparative context reveals differences in US and Canadian political institutions and political cultures that allowed Pittsburgh’s growth coalition to exclude working-class residents from civic life, while a more pluralistic politics in Hamilton forced its growth coalition to remain attentive to the needs of existing residents. These political and institutional differences produced a more inclusive definition of citizenship in Hamilton than in Pittsburgh.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bender, Thomas
Commitee: Needham, Andrew, Ortolano, Guy, Phillips-Fein, Kim, Walkowitz, Daniel
School: New York University
Department: History
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 72/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Canadian history, American history, Modern history, Political science, Urban planning
Keywords: Deindustrialization, Hamilton, ON, Ontario, PA, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, Urban revitalization, Urban space
Publication Number: 3466949
ISBN: 9781124808581
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