Governing without Government: Nonprofit Governance and Urban Democracy

Political Science/Sociology/Urban Studies

In many US cities, resources for local government are shrinking while philanthropic and nonprofit activity grows—these paired trends create space for “nonprofit governance,” a governing strategy that maximizes local cooperation for external funding, rather than offering competing visions of the city to the public. I am working on a book project that analyzes data related to these trends and examines the consequences for democratic participation and civic life in cities.

  • Quantitative skills and/or experience with managing data are preferred.
  • The student will identify and access data about cities, including voter turnout trends, nonprofit presence, and distribution of grants.
  • Researching information on specific cities (based on media coverage and other secondary sources) related to leadership in key policy decisions.

The student will contribute essential information to complete the empirical aspects of this work—adding to existing data I've gathered and further analyzing relevant case studies. The student will learn about city governance, municipal data sources, changes in democratic engagement at the local level, and tracing money to both local governments and nonprofit organizations.