The Great Cities versus the rest: examining a political divide

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    Abstract

    This paper brings scholarly attention to the topic of the so-called urban-rural political divide, now under intensive scrutiny in media and policy after recent political events where it featured prominently. Aggregate voting patterns suggest that cities are politically at odds with small towns and rural areas and the potential of that opposition, whether real or perceived, to restrict debate, empathy and cooperation runs from the individual to the institutional level. The problem is framed under the broader question whether and why urban environments are able to engender specific socio-political outcomes and the paper evaluates the current state of knowledge on the constraints of political preferences and voter behaviour and their relation to space and movement. Furthermore, it reconsiders the spatial and socioeconomic factors underlying the apparent divisions for a time when boundaries between urban and non-urban have been broadly dissolved and outlines new matters of concern and possible ways forward for research to account for the spatial, cultural, political and policy implications of the urban-rural divide.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRegional Studies Association Conference, Lugano CH, June 2018
    Publication statusIn preparation - 2019

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