Careers in City Politics

The Case for Urban Democracy

Bledsoe presents a overview of modern city politics and argues that the careers of city politicians reveal useful insights into how local political arrangements affect democratic government. . . . The analysis is a stimulating one that sees political activism as important in the sustaining of a healthy democracy [and as] relevant to the wider discussion of urban change and the globalization process in urban political economy.
Political Studies

Careers in City Politics provides an in-depth view of the vital aspects of local politics-access to political office, individual office holder's accountability to the public, the performance of councils as collective political bodies, and the often high turnover of personnel.

Timothy Bledsoe bases his findings on the political careers of more than eight-hundred city council members representing cities with large and medium populations. Tracing how some officials' careers unfolded over five years, Bledsoe studies their reasons for seeking office and examines how successful they were in adapting to their jobs. He evaluates office-holders whose council careers were cut short and those whose lengthy service qualified them as “careerists,” paying special attention to first-term officials and to those who used their seats as stepping-stones to higher political offices. In this first-of-its-kind study, Bledsoe offers specific recommendations for restoring some of the lost vigor to local politics.

254 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

June, 1993

isbn : 9780822985501

about the author

Timothy Bledsoe

Timothy Bledsoe is professor of political science at Wayne State University. In 2008 he was elected to Michigan State House of Representatives.

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Timothy Bledsoe