Regime network restructuring in Akron, Ohio, 1975-2009: A longitudinal social network analysis
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de Socio, Mark
Type of WorkText
Citation of Original Publicationde Socio, M. 2012. Regime network restructuring in Akron, Ohio, 1975-2009: A longitudinal social network analysis. Growth and Change 43(1): 27-55.
SubjectsUrban regime theory, community power structures, urban geography, urban governance, political geography, economic development
The purpose of this paper is to explore the impacts of extra-local economic and political forces on the business community participants of the governing regime coalition in Akron, Ohio, and in turn, how other regime partners responded to and engaged with the changing constitution of Akron’s business community. Unlike the UK where municipalities receive substantial fiscal support from regional and national governments, American cities are more readily forced into regime partnerships with other public and private actors for fiscal solvency, including, primarily, the local business community. In the case of Akron, the local business community experienced a prolonged and ongoing period of comprehensive deindustrialization and economic restructuring, forcing the city into partnerships with less traditional non-private sector actors as Akron’s business community structure continues to transform. A secondary objective is to forward the utility of social network analysis in regime theory applications. Social network analysis offers a way to situate arguably the most influential actors in a regime coalition. Utilizing the directories of Standard and Poor’s Index of Corporations and Directors from 1975 through 2006, social network analysis is performed on the interlocking network of corporations and civic organizations based in Akron for each decade, allowing a longitudinal view of the changing business community partners of Akron’s governing coalition.