Jerry W. Lansdowne

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Studies


Urban Studies and Planning

Physical Description

ix, 554 p. 28 cm.


Economics, Institutional economics, Cities and towns




The emergence of a complex and highly urbanized industrial society has inspired great study of urbanization and urban phenomena by social scientists. Unfortunately, most social scientists study urbanology within the relatively narrow confines of their particular disciplines. Sociologists concentrate on urban phenomena arising out of human-group relationships, while political scientists concentrate on units of urban government and intergovernmental relations. Likewise, economists study urbanology from a market perspective while geographers tend to concentrate on urban location theory and historians are concerned about the history of urbanization. Moreover, urban planners and research specialists are principally practitioners who receive and attempt to apply the resulting fragments of theory to their professional practices. There has been altogether too little cross-tell between the academic disciplines, and thus little advancement toward a wholistic theory of urbanology. On the other hand, there have been some productive efforts to apply theories from one discipline to the study of another discipline--notably, group theory from sociology and elements of marginal ism from economics are being applied to aspects of political science. But this is on a somewhat ethereal level with only marginal integration across disciplines. Some of the hybrid results of this kind of academic cross-pollination have only recently been applied in any meaningful way to urbanology. The point is that progress toward a more wholistic theory of urbanology seems all too slow under the circumstances. The major contention of this work is that some progress toward such a wholistic theory might be made by integrating institutional economic theory and elements of the more orthodox economic theory with aspects of pluralist theory from political science and relating the resulting whole in an urban context.


Portland State University. School of Urban Affairs.

Persistent Identifier