An innovative work of scholarship, in method, phenomenon, and theory. (Gerald McDermott, University of Pennsylvania)
A fascinating study of the determinants of regional competitiveness in the U.S., Why the Garden Club Couldn't Save Youngstown
has important lessons for scholars and policymakers interested in economic adaptation. (AnnaLee Saxenian, author of New Argonauts: Regional Advantage in the Global Economy
Safford's work represents a clear advance in understanding the importance of networks for industrial and community development. He presents his case very effectively. (Keith Provan, University of Arizona)
Safford offers a compelling account of the very different paths taken by Allentown and Youngstown in response to the 'rust belt' crisis of the 1980s. More generally, he contributes to the emerging institutional perspective on strategic action. Situated at the intersection of social movement and organizational theory, this body of scholarship is emerging as an influential and fundamentally sociological challenge to rational choice and other theories of collective action. Safford advances this tradition even as he draws on its insights. (Doug McAdam, Stanford University)
This extraordinary look inside the fates of two down-and-out Rust Belt cities—how one came back from decline and the other went into a death spiral—has lessons for cities everywhere. It challenges the benefits of being a tight-knit community and shows, instead, that the people who bridge and connect among a city's networks prove most valuable. So who are your city's connectors? If you don't know, you'd better find out. (Carol Coletta, President and CEO, CEOs for Cities)
About the Author
Sean Safford is Visiting Professor of Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.