Marissa Swartz

Economic Context and Civic Engagement: the Effects of  Localism  in Four Michigan Cities

The economic structure of a city affects the civic well-being of its residents. The degree of ‘localism’ in an economy affects the area’s social capital, contributing to the development of its civic institutions. I examine the relationship between localism and social capital in four Michigan cities: Flint, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Pontiac. A more local, or independent economic structure, is resilient to harmful effects of globalization.  Local business leaders support civic institutions.  Bridging social capital, then, flourishes, creating a civically engaged population. The heart of a locality’s economic structure, thus, provides insight into the development of a city’s civic institutions.

Faculty Mentor: Whitt Kilburn, Political Science

Page last modified August 2, 2013