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Regeneration, Citizenship, and Justice in the American City since the 1970s

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Aneta Dybska

This book investigates post-industrial American cities as sites of struggle where political identities are mobilized and new modes of citizenship are articulated. This interdisciplinary analysis gleans insights from anthropology, literary criticism, cultural studies, geography, political philosophy, and urban studies. Drawing on scholarly, journalistic, essayistic, and fictional texts, the author examines the linkages between urban regeneration policies, citizenship, and social justice in the neoliberal city. She foregrounds grassroots and official strategies of community building, civic revival and democratic governance, as well as the right to the city, localism, and sustainability as key discourses and practices of re-configuring and re-inhabiting the urban.

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Chapter Nine Communitarianism as a Politics of Urban Regeneration: Grace Lee Boggs’s The Next American Revolution

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… the love and respect of your neighbors must be gained by a long series of small services, hidden deeds of goodness, a persistent habit of kindness, and an established reputation of selflessness.

—Tocqueville, Democracy in America vol. 2, p. 648

Communitarianism can be understood as democracy’s environmentalist movement, helping to heighten awareness of the political importance and endangered condition of the seedbeds of civic virtue.

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