Empirical research on urban governance
School of Graduate Studies and Institute of Policy Studies, Lingnan University
Cities and Governance Webinar Series 2021
4:00 - 5:30 pm
This seminar will be divided into two parts. In the first, we will explore approaches for the systematic comparison of urban governance regimes. In the absence of a grand theory of urban governance that defines the relationships between all relevant concepts and stipulates explanatory links between them and societal outcomes, different disciplines have emphasised different governance domains. Focused empirical research into all these domains remains critical to improve our understanding of how the governance process unfolds at the urban scale. But the lack of systematically collected, comparable data across jurisdictions hampers theory development and empirical testing. Can we develop a framework for the systematic analysis of urban governance that avoids strong forms of essentialism and reification?
In the second part, we will delve into one of the key domains of urban governance: the relationships between the various governance actors and the traditions regulating those interactions. Contributing to making this aspect of urban governance less well-researched by comparison to others is the fact that the actors’ capacity to control or influence, harnessed through their webs of relationships, is hard to ascertain. Consequently, there is still much to learn about how these patterns of interaction may impact on the decision-making processes. This is especially the case for cities of the Global South, for which less data is generally available. Using social network analysis methods to chart the informal connections and social structures that influence spatial planning in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the seminar will explore how strategic decisions are made in the city’s complex institutional environment.
da Cruz, N. F. (2021, September 28). Empirical research on urban governance [Video podcast]. Retrieved from https://commons.ln.edu.hk/videos/928/