Changing Urban Trends: Cultures of Decency and Well-being from the Premodern to the Postmodern, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Changing Urban Trends

Cultures of Decency and Well-being from the Premodern to the Postmodern, 1st Edition

By Siegrun F. Freyss


208 pages | 53 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138049338
pub: 2019-10-18
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Hardback: 9781138049321
pub: 2019-10-18
Available for pre-order

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Our contemporary public sector is deeply steeped in its history. Examining the historic patterns of urban settlements, for example, can teach us much about the development of our public sector interests: zoning (separate the slaughterhouse from the residences), the creation of public police and fire departments (protection of industrial assets), building of roads, canals and highways (suburbanization), and public school systems (the need for an educated knowledge workforce). In this unique new book, the reader is guided through premodern conditions in order to identify the paradigmatic changes that differentiate the premodern age from the modern age. The well-known contours of that transformation are then used to highlight trends that signal movements toward postmodernity in the public sector and beyond.

While many urban politics books cover economic, government, and housing issues throughout history, this book digs deeper, to investigate changes in urban settlements, political systems, work organizations, educational policies, views of human nature, and religious practices. Those paradigmatic changes are then examined to ask important questions such as: What can local governments learn from premodernity in order to promote desirable developments and progressive trends? Exploring progressive and regressive strategies as well as mainstream and critical social theory in order to find possible answers to these important questions, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of urban politics and policy, as well as those interested in the ways in which our history shapes our contemporary public sector. 

Table of Contents

Part 1: Premodern Conditions

1. Introduction

2. An Agrarian Economy

3. Impact of the Economy on Settlements

4. Political System/Urban Governance

5. Work Organizations

6. Education/Required Knowledge, Skills, Abilities

7. View of Human Nature

8. Religion

9. In Summary

Part 2: Modern Conditions

10. Introduction

11. An Industrial Economy

12. Impact of the Industrial Economy on the Urban Environment

13. Political System at the Local Level/Urban Governance

14. Work Organizations

15. Education/Required KSAs to Make a Living

16. View of Human Nature

17. Religion

18. In Summary

Part 3: Postmodern Developments

19. Introduction

20. The High-Tech Economy

21. Impact of Postmodern Economy on Urban Areas

22. Political System at the Local Level/Urban Governance

23. Work Organizations

24. Education/Required KSAs – recognition that

25. View of Human Nature

26. Religion

27. In Summary

About the Author

Siegrun Fox Freyss is Professor Emerita in the Department of Political Science, College of Natural and Social Sciences at California State University, Los Angeles, USA. Dr. Freyss received her doctoral degree in Government from the Claremont Graduate University and her master’s degree in Applied Geography from the Technical University in Munich, Germany. Her professional career began as a city planner before she moved into academia. As a faculty member in the Master of Science in Public Administration program at California State University, Dr. Freyss has taught courses on organization theory, human resource management, labor relations, nonprofit management, and research methods. Her research interests are in the areas of organizational innovations in local government, the management of human capital, as well as capacity building of nonprofit organizations. From March to December 2014, she wrote a monthly column in the PA Times on "Paradigm Shifts in Public Administration – Towards New Benchmarks and Best Practices.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / City Planning & Urban Development
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Affairs & Administration