The Great Cities versus the rest: examining a political divide

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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
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventAnnual Conference of the Regional Studies Association (RSA): A World of Flows: Labour Mobility, Capital and Knowledge in an Age of Global Reversal and Regional Revival - Lugano, Switzerland
Duration: 3 Jun 20186 Jun 2018


ConferenceAnnual Conference of the Regional Studies Association (RSA)


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