Public Goods and the Politics of Segregation: An Analysis and Cross-national Comparison

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Abstract

Despite the persistent inequality of advanced industrial society, traditional class politics has receded as an influence on policy. One reason stems from the divergent ways consumption and property interests linked to residence qualify the support of privileged citizens for policies to provide public goods. My analysis of these spatial influences focuses on localized provision of urban environmental amenities in nine midsized urban service centers scattered across France, Germany, and the United States. I first separate out analytically distinct hypotheses about effects from neighborhood dominance, residential exclusion, decentralized settlement and jurisdictional opportunities on political and market interests among this group. Cross-national testing then validates these hypotheses across the variety of national states, public policies, political economies, and political cultures in the sample.

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