Towards a New Political Leadership Praxis in the Rescaled Space of Urban Educational Governance

Authored by: Hanne B. Mawhinney

Handbook of Education Politics and Policy

Print publication date:  June  2008
Online publication date:  June  2008

Print ISBN: 9780805861112
eBook ISBN: 9780203887875
Adobe ISBN: 9781135595586


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A review of press coverage of education reform at the end of the first decade of the 21st century in the United States will remove any doubt that some of the most challenging issues in leadership praxis are those that arise in urban centers, especially in globalizing cities such as Los Angeles. Strangely, scholarly examinations of urban education governance have largely ignored the significant body of scholarship (begun in the 1980s) by researchers in a number of disciplines focused on processes of urbanization in what have come to be known as global cities. As a result, scholarship examining the nature of the challenges of educational governance in globalizing cities has failed to take into account the questions of scale that have emerged as central concerns for those interested in the urban as an object of study. Indeed urban questions are increasingly being posed as scale questions because previously taken for granted relations of cities to supra urban scales are being displaced by new relations (Brenner, 2000; Sassen, 2006). The displacement occurs in the context of the enlarged role of civil society in different scales, including those that emerge on the level of the urban (local). Scholars studying world and global cities have begun to explore the dialectics of the local and global in which rescaled civil society and politics create challenges of the “governance of complexity” (Appadurai, 1996; Brenner, 2004; Harvey, 1982, 2000a, 2000b, 2001; Held, 2003; Keil, 2003; Lefebvre, 2003; McCann, 2002; Sassen, 2006; Slaughter, 2004; Soja, 2000).

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