1st Edition

Entrepreneurial Governance in the Neoliberal Era Local Government and the Automotive Industry

By Oliver Cowart Copyright 2022
    182 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    182 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Against the background of a growing tendency among state and local governments in the United States to vie against one another, spending public funds, and foregoing corporate tax revenues in order to attract private investment, this book offers an analysis of local economic development and business recruitment in the automotive industry. Asking why localities felt they could – and, more importantly, should – make deals with private capital in the first place, this book examines the shift toward entrepreneurial local governance from a global and historically informed perspective. Through a study of the 19 greenfield automotive assembly plants constructed in the United States during the neoliberal era, the author draws on interviews with corporate and government elites, to chart the connections between increasingly global competitive industry pressures and changing attitudes toward “incentivizing” private investment. Studying the development of an approach that has partially reoriented local governments away from managing localities and towards helping manage transnational capital flows by absorbing some of the increasing risk of long-term capital investment, Entrepreneurial Governance in the Neoliberal Era will appeal to scholars of sociology, politics, and urban studies with interests in globalization, the sociology of work and industry, the sociology of development, and neoliberal governance.

    1. Introduction, Context, Cases

    2. Theorizing Local Development Strategies

    3. Patterns in the Industry – Patterns in Location

    4. The Industrial Recruitment of Automotive Assembly Plants in the South

    5. The Business of Partnerships

    6. The Political and Economic in Partnership

    7. Axiomatic? A Weird, Blurred Line

    Appendix 1: Greenfield Plant Locations and Incentives Packages Detail

    Appendix 2: Sample of Interview Prompts


    Oliver Cowart is a former assistant professor of sociology at Paine College, U.S.A.