Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics: Political Branding in Cities: The Decline of Machine Politics in Bogota, Naples, and Chicago (Hardback)
  • Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics: Political Branding in Cities: The Decline of Machine Politics in Bogota, Naples, and Chicago (Hardback)
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Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics: Political Branding in Cities: The Decline of Machine Politics in Bogota, Naples, and Chicago (Hardback)

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£72.00
Hardback 304 Pages / Published: 26/10/2009
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Branding is ubiquitous, yet its workings in politics are still untheorized. Drawing on the experiences of three cities on three continents, Eleonora Pasotti fills the gap by showing how cities suffering for decades from poor government, entrenched patronage, lack of development, and social conflict made a transition to a new form of governance: brand politics. Facilitated by the joint presence of direct elections, low party discipline, and high rates of municipal fiscal self-reliance, brand politics breaks a vicious cycle of skepticism and inertia, and opens the window for a broad set of reforms. The theory of brand politics shows mayors emulating marketing mavericks: in commerce, consumers aspire to become different people by acquiring products; in politics, citizens support mayors' brands because they seek to become carriers of the same values. Voting and buying have thus become increasingly synonymous in citizens' primal search for a means of expressing their identities.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521762052
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 620 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'In Political Branding in Cities, Eleonora Pasotti gracefully lifts the veil of standard social scientific analysis, and exposes the profound shifts occurring in municipal politics across different regions of the world. From Bogota to Chicago and Naples, fiscal retrenchment, direct elections, and low party discipline have led to the decline of patronage politics. With notable analytical aplomb, Pasotti also traces the increasing salience of political brands, and lays out the logic of branding. She masterfully demonstrates how branding redefines the relationship between urban political leaders and citizenries; and more broadly, how branding reconfigures the dynamics that connect the formation of civic identities, the mobilization of public opinion, voter behavior, and institutional change. Serious students of public affairs stand to profit greatly from this original and illuminating book.' Consuelo Cruz, Tufts University, Massachusetts
'Drawing on a comparative case study of breath-taking geographic scope, and detailed local research in three languages, Eleonora Pasotti delivers one of the first side by side examinations of urban politics across the developed-developing country divide. Despite the starkly different national contexts of Bogota, Chicago and Naples, the surprising findings show many of the same processes at work in all three local settings. The analysis demonstrates the potential of city-level comparisons to generate genuine insights into global shifts in the relations between governing and the governed.' Jeffrey Sellers, University of Southern California
'Eleonora Pasotti's path-breaking book, Political Branding in Cities, analyzes how political entrepreneurs use branding as a means of rising above the politics of corruption even where corruption has been stable for decades. In a study of three cities across the globe - Naples, Bogota, and Chicago - Pasotti identifies the conditions under which this type of branding can take place. Well-written, this book concludes with the larger implications of branding for politics.' Barry Weingast, Stanford University, California
'Pasotti has given us a highly original account of the transformations that occurred through the construction of a new 'brand politics' in Chicago, Bogota, and Naples. Using this brilliant cross-regional comparison, she shows how the new strategies altered representation by infusing politics with emotional forms of identification that stifled dissent and displaced established patterns of civic engagement.' Margaret Weir, University of California, Berkeley
'... an academic page turner, at least for those rare beings like this reviewer who are fascinated by mayors and their political leadership. Like any review, this short discussion of an elaborate work cannot fully convey its richness and scope. Hence, in conclusion, it uses reductionist metaphors - a device not uncommon in brand politics - in making reference to one of the world's more famous brand slogans: this book has been truly enjoyed, and is strongly recommended for extensive scholarly consumption.' Kristof Steyvers, Local Government Studies
'With admirable precision and beautiful prose, Pasotti immerses her readers into city budgets, transportation projects, new parks, and other megaendeavors. The book constitutes an amazing portrayal of the transformation of these three cities and the real-world politics that went on behind those processes. ... Pasotti's book constitutes a mayor theoretical and empirical contribution to the study of comparative urban politics. It is exceptional in its theoretical and empirical depth and also in its breath. The book combines literatures from political science, anthropology, economics, management, advertisement, and cognitive psychology. Furthermore, it does this successfully, providing the reader with original conceptual tools that result from the eclectic combination of works and thinking.' Comparative Political Studies
'Conducting detailed research in three different languages, Pasotti is an immensely skilled qualitative scholar with deep knowledge of cities. She conveys political complexity with clarity and insight (making politics in Naples and Bogota understandable, even for a student of American politics). The insights gleaned from her work are sure to affect the study of cities and clientelism in both the American and comparative context.' Perspectives on Politics
'Political Branding in Cities provides a new way of looking at large, global cities. ... It deserves to be carefully read and utilized by any serious urban politics scholar. It clearly demonstrates once again the value - especially in our new global world - of comparative urban political analysis.' Urban Affairs Review
'Political Branding in Cities is an excellent book that advances a theory of public opinion mobilization - 'brand politics' - for understanding the calls by elected officials for a new collective identity among voters and emerging methods for managing public opinion and elections. It will make a terrific reading for students in classes dealing with political science in general, and more specifically should be considered by students and scholars alike working in the areas of voter mobilization and electoral politics.' The American Review of Public Administration
'There is no doubt that this book constitutes a major contribution to the understanding of the recent evolution of urban governance.' International Journal of Urban and Regional Research
"Through a fine-grained analysis of the campaign strategies of mayors in three major cities-Chicago, Naples, and Bogota-in the latter decades of the 20th century, Pasotti elaborates a model by which brand politics are enacted. The study is also notable for its attention to the practices, rather than just the policies, that give rise to this political culture of personalism...An important legacy of brand politics, she argues, is the need for a broadened understanding of rational decision making, one that includes emotional processing and heuristics. This is just one of the many novel interventions Pasotti makes. The book is an important contribution to understandings of political communication and the emerging field of critical brand studies." - Melissa Aronczyk, Political Communication
"In Political Branding in Cities, Eleonora Pasotti gracefully lifts the veil of standard social scientific analysis, and exposes the profound shifts occurring in municipal politics across different regions of the world. From Bogota to Chicago and Naples, fiscal retrenchment, direct elections, and low party discipline have led to the decline of patronage politics. With notable analytical aplomb, Pasotti also traces the increasing salience of political brands, and lays out the logic of branding. She masterfully demonstrates how branding redefines the relationship between urban political leaders and citizenries; and more broadly, how branding reconfigures the dynamics that connect the formation of civic identities, the mobilization of public opinion, voter behavior, and institutional change. Serious students of public affairs stand to profit greatly from this original and illuminating book." -Consuelo Cruz, Tufts University
"Drawing on a comparative case study of breath-taking geographic scope, and detailed local research in three languages, Eleonora Pasotti delivers one of the first side by side examinations of urban politics across the developed -developing country divide. Despite the starkly different national contexts of Bogota, Chicago and Naples, the surprising findings show many of the same processes at work in all three local settings. The analysis demonstrates the potential of city-level comparisons to generate genuine insights into global shifts in the relations between governing and the governed." -Jeffrey Sellers, University of Southern California
"Eleonora Pasotti's path-breaking book, Political Branding in Cities, analyzes how political entrepreneurs use branding as a means of rising above the politics of corruption even where corruption has been stable for decades. In a study of three cities across the globe - Naples, Bogota, and Chicago - Pasotti identifies the conditions under which this type of branding can take place. Well-written, this book concludes with the larger implications of branding for politics." -Barry Weingast, Stanford University
"Pasotti has given us a highly original account of the transformations that occurred through the construction of a new `brand politics' in Chicago, Bogota, and Naples. Using this brilliant cross-regional comparison, she shows how the new strategies altered representation by infusing politics with emotional forms of identification that stifled dissent and displaced established patterns of civic engagement." -Margaret Weir, University of California, Berkeley
"A dialogue between facts and interpretations and the gradual development of insight into the book's argument... are highly stimulating to continue reading and give it the potential of an academic page turner.... this book is truly enjoyed and strongly advertised for massive scholarly consumption." -Kristof Steyvers, Ghent University, Local Government Studies
"Conducting detailed research in three different languages, Pasotti is an immensely skilled qualitative scholar with deep knowledge of cities. She conveys political complexity with clarity and insight (making politics in Naples and Bogota understandable, even for a student of American politics). The insights gleaned from her work are sure to affect the study of cities and clientalism in both the American and comparative context." -Jessica Trounstine, University of California, Merced, Perspectives on Politics
"Certainly, after a close reading of this book, urban scholars will be better able to understand the current expansion of the symbolic dimension in urban politics and policy-making; they will look for the possibility of bringing some reform along, not only b yprogressive coalitions strengthening institutions in spite of clients, but also by initiating a change in the electorate's individual values and symbolic frame." -Davide Ponzini, Politecnico di Milano, Urban Research & Practice
"Eleonora Pasotti's new book is a detailed and innovative account of the phenomenon of urban 'brand politics': a form of political exchange whereby influence matters more than affiliation, social values more than material benefits, and broad spectrum communication more than clientelistic particularism.... Pasotti's is the only study I am aware of that specifically defines the terms and conditions of this phenomenon using a direct comparative approach. Through a fine-grained analysis of the campaign strategies of mayors in three major cities-Chicago, Naples, and Bogota-in the latter decades of the 20th century, Pasotti elaborates a model by which brand politics are enacted." -Melissa Aronczyk, Carleton University, Political Communication
"Pasotti's book... constitutes an exquisite account of the transition from machine to branding politics in three major urbes. She provides fine-grained evidence of when and how branding mayors emerged and what they did. She studies their campaigns, scrutinizes the demographic features of the electorate who supported them, and analyzes the urban policies they implemented once in power. With admirable precision and beautiful prose, Pasotti immerses her readers into city budgets, transportation projects, new parks, and other mega endeavors. The book constitutes an amazing portrayal of the transformation of these three cities and the real-world politics that went on behind those processes." -Tulia G. Falleti, University of Pennsylvania, Comparative Political Studies
"Fundamentally, this is a book of comparative urban politics in search of a broader, new paradigm to explain our experience of the new urban politics in global cities of the twenty-first century. As such, it deserves our careful consideration." -Dick Simpson, University of Illinois at Chicago, Urban Affairs Review

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