Activist Populations and Possibilities for Organizing in High-Poverty Urban Neighborhoods

Presenter: James Morone, PhD Candidate in Political Science

Discussant: Rand Quinn, Associate Professor of Education

Breafast treats, coffee, and tea in the URBS space, Room 130 McNeil!


This paper examines political and civic activism in high-poverty neighborhoods of U.S. cities.  Specifically, I show how public policy, foundations, educational institutions, and other forces created and reproduce populations of neighborhood activists with particular perspectives on economic issues—from socialist visions of redistribution and public provision, to neoliberal visions of market-driven real estate development.  Drawing on field observation in two high-poverty neighborhoods of Chicago, I argue that such activist populations determine the kinds of projects which emerge, and which can be organized, in high-poverty neighborhoods.