Beyond the City Walls: The Politics of Resentment

Held on October 18, 2021
Watch a recording of the event below. Check back in the coming weeks for a written event summary and video highlights.

Cities are vibrant centers of innovation and change. In most places, however, cities themselves are mostly defined by archaic boundaries sometimes originating in the mists of history that bear little relationship to current realities. Problems such as congestion, pollution, and the availability of affordable housing cross city boundaries.

This two-part event will first address political tensions between cities and the more rural parts of their regions that are often “left behind” communities. The wave of populist politics that has swept economically advanced democracies in the last 10 years has many aspects; one central theme has been antipathy to metropolitan cities and their more liberal values. Beliefs that leading metropolitan centers take more than their fair share of resources—including tax revenue—and dominate culturally have been critical elements in fueling populist movements. Understanding and finding a way to alleviate these tensions is important for the future of cities.

Part One: The Politics of Resentment

10/18/21, 11:00am-1:30pm ET

11:00AM: Welcome [Graham Wilson, Boston University]

11:10AM: Local Voices Network Project [Katherine Cramer, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Deb Roy, MIT]

11:50AM: The Metropolis and Its Critics

1. The yellow vests and anti-Paris sentiment in France [Vivien Schmidt, Boston University]
2. The collapse of the “red wall” and antipathy to London in the UK [Janet Laible, Lehigh University]

12:30PM: Representation of Cities vs. Suburbs in Literature/Popular Culture [Andrew Robichaud, Boston University]

12:50PM: Q&A with audience

1:15PM: Closing Remarks [Graham Wilson, Boston University]

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