Sociologists have long studied subnational development across the United States focusing on state and market forces that contribute to spatial inequality and uneven development. Subnational research is central to development sociology's concern with the present neoliberal stage of capitalism and to numerous theoretical, substantive, and policy issues that revolve around poverty and prosperity within the nation. Yet the body of work faces a number of challenges. Research is fragmented and its potential for building broader development sociology overlooked. We provide a critical analysis of this research tradition focusing on its theoretical development and identifying a wave of shifts in economic structure and the state that require new engagement. Our analysis raises challenges for development sociology as a broader field of study. Profound state and market changes are unfolding within the United States but they remain under-theorized with implications for limiting progress in the field as a whole. We identify a series of questions that offer promising directions for future research.
Development Sociology at the Subnational Scale: Open Questions About State and Market Processes Across the United States
The authors wish to thank the funding source for this research, the National Science Foundation (BCS-1259424). We also thank Michael Betz and Minyu Zhou for producing the maps for this paper.
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Linda Lobao, Gregory Hooks; Development Sociology at the Subnational Scale: Open Questions About State and Market Processes Across the United States. Sociology of Development 1 March 2015; 1 (1): 43–76. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/sod.2015.1.1.43
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