Junior Seminar: Power and Prosperity in Urban America

Course Description

Over the past twenty years, many American cities have experienced comebacks: growing numbers of upper- income residents have relocated to cities; downtowns have been transformed into lively arts and entertainment districts; and crime has fallen. This course will examine the causes and implications of these recent upswings in urban fortunes. The questions we will consider include: How did cities achieve these transformations? Why were some cities much more successful than others? How has the revitalization of cities affected the urban poor? The course will also examine the impact of the recession on cities. Does the recession jeopardize recent gains in urban prosperity? How have cities coped with the fiscal strains presented by reduced tax revenues and limits on state and federal assistance?

The Junior Seminars are intense writing seminars which focus on the research area of the faculty member teaching the course. The seminars provide an opportunity for students to have direct intellectual interactions with faculty members while also giving the students an understanding for faculty research.

This junior seminar falls within the "American Politics" subfield, and can fulfill an upper division requirement for the major.


Political Science Majors of Junior and Senior status, with a minimum overall UC GPA of 3.3. Students must place themselves on the waitlist through TeleBEARS in Phase II. Selection and notification will occur around January 14, 2013.   Priority may be given to students who have not yet taken a junior seminar.