Paradise Plundered: Fiscal Crisis and Governance Failures in San Diego

Paradise Plundered: Fiscal Crisis and Governance Failures in San Diego

On November 2nd from Noon-1pm, join authors and political scientists Steven Erie and Vladimir Kogan as they discuss their new book “Paradise Plundered: Fiscal Crisis and Governance Failures in San Diego” in the Seuss Room in the Geisel Library building.


News release for the event

The 21st century has not been kind to California’s reputation for good government. But the Golden State’s governance flaws reflect worrisome national trends with origins in the 1970s and 1980s. Growing voter distrust with government, a demand for services but not taxes to pay for them, a sharp decline in enlightened leadership, and dysfunctional political institutions have all contributed to the current malaise.

Until recently, San Diego—America’s 8th largest city—seemed immune to such systematic governance disorders. This sunny beach town entered the 1980s proclaiming itself “America’s Finest City,” but in a few short years had become known as “Enron-by-the-Sea.” In an eye-opening presentation, the authors will mix policy analysis, political theory, and history to explore and explain the unintended but largely predictable failures of governance in San Diego. Benchmarking San Diego with other leading California cities, Paradise Plundered examines critical dimensions of San Diego’s governance failure, including intractable pension and budget deficits, poorly crafted public-private partnerships, and much more. This tale of civic woe offers valuable lessons for urban scholars, practitioners, and general readers concerned about the future of their own cities.

Steven P. Erie is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Urban Studies and Planning Program, UC, San Diego. Vladimir Kogan is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at UC, San Diego.

The authors will be signing copies of their book after the presentation.

The event is sponsored by the Social Sciences & Humanities Library, the Urban Studies & Planning Program, the Urban Studies Program Student Club, and the Center for Community Well-Being.

No RSVP. Light refreshments will be served.

Paradise Plundered Book Cover

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