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KGLM 2020 - Conflicts and Urban change in Large Metropolis

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


Compulsory summer readings: Abrahamson, M. (2014), "Urban sociology: a global introduction", Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 282 p. Urdan, Timothy C., "Statistics in Plain English. Routledge, London". Possibly the third edition (2010). First 4 chapters are compulsory. Better to read the others too. They will be commented all along the semester. Wilson, William Julius, "The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, the Underclass, and Public Policy", 2nd Edition, University Of Chicago Press, 2012. Please do not forget to take the on line course of Sociology on the Sciences Po PSS platform (with Prof. Pierre François).

Course Description

The course exposes students to the main approaches in Public Policy Analysis and in Urban Policy Analysis. It has mostly a theoretical orientation, trying to show how different research programmes make different questions and produce dissimilar kind of explication. We will work on analytical as well as descriptive material, hoping that the former would furnish the student with tools for dealing with the latter. We will dig also into tensions and methodological problems of the implementation of project and interventions in critical metropolitan contexts. The main focus will be on conflicts that seem avoiding negotiation. We will discuss researches concerning the way in which actors deal with an angry public, toward the resolution of intractable policy controversies.


VITALE, Tommaso (Associate Professor and Scientific Director of the Master “Governing the Large Metropolis”, Sciences Po)

Pedagogical format

Students should read all the assigned readings and come to class with comments and criticisms on the readings, consistently take an active part in class discussions, and respect dead lines. Further, note that the course is designed to prepare students to be a professional. As in professional life, timely submissions are expected: A press kit has to be sent by e-mail by Monday, October 2nd The individual oral examination will be at the end of the course (no question in advance; the exam will test appropriate knowledge of theories and authors).

Course validation

Grades are between 0 and 20. They will be determined by four main components: The quality of a student's participation in class: 10%. A press kit: 30%. A 20-minute oral examination: 60%. Papers on European cities or on middle-sized cities will not be accepted.


Students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the assigned readings. Obviously, lectures will be not (only) on the papers to read, but you are expected to complete the assigned readings before each class session, to participate actively in the class. The readings are a mix of case studies and theoretical materials.

Required reading

  • Wildavsky Aaron, The art and craft of policy analysis, Macmillan, Basingstoke, 1980 To be read by class 1
  • Cairney P., Understanding Public Policy: Theories and Issues, Palgrave Macmillan (2011).
  • Vitz M., 2018, A city on a lake: urban political ecology and the growth of Mexico City, Duke University Press, Durham and London. (Be prepared to discuss it in class 6)
  • Sander R., Kucheva Y., Zasloff J., 2018, Moving toward Integration. The past and future of fair housing, Cambridge, Harvard University Press. (compulsory: parts IV and V pages 335-465, but the whole book is very recommended) (Be prepared to discuss it in class 9)
  • The list of readings for each class is on the syllabus.

Additional required reading

  • Moran M., Rein M., Goodin R., The Oxford Handbook of Public Policy, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2008
  • David Brady and Linda M. Burton, 2016, The Oxford Handbook of the Social Science of Poverty, Oxford University Press. Especially Section III Place and Context and the Section VI Policies, Solutions, and Responses
  • O'Connor, Tilly C., Urban Inequality: Evidence From Four Cities, Russel Sage Fundation (2003)
  • Le Galès P., Ugalde V., Gobernando la Ciudad de M.xico. Lo que se gobierna y lo
  • Matthew D. Marr 2015: Better Must Come: Exiting Homelessness in Two Global Cities. Ithaca: Cornell University Press
  • UCLG, 2016, Gold IV: Metropolitan Areas. The Complexity Of The Metropolitan Age.
  • Javier Auyero and Mar.a Fernanda Berti 2015: In Harm's Way: The Dynamics of Urban Violence. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Ananya Roy and Emma Shaw Crane (eds.) 2015: Territories of Poverty. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.