Team Taught Course (Fall 2024): Coalition Formation in Urban Politics

Co-Taught by John Mollenkopf (GC/Political Science) and Keena Lipsitz (Queens/Political Science). In-person at the GC in Fall 2024.

Description: In many large cities, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Houston, no racial group is a majority of the population or the voting age citizenry. They are all becoming more diverse, as immigration reshapes and sometimes blurs the older racial boundaries. Many new immigrant origin groups do not easily recognize themselves within U.S. racial categorizations. How groups relate to each other, when they form coalitions, and how they differ or polarize with each other will shape the future of urban politics in the decades to become. This course uses New York City, in comparison with peer cities, as a laboratory for exploring the contours of racial-ethnic collaboration and competition in forming political and electoral majorities — and the implications they hold for how city government distributes benefits and regulates development. The course will build empirical skills in collecting and analyzing relevant data as well as theoretical understandings of group identity formation, racial hierarchies, and inter-group cooperation and competition. Seminar participants will be expected to select a ‘community of interest’ defined not just in racial-ethnic terms but along other lines of shared interest (cultural, ideological, work, consumption, geographic co-location…) to explore group mobilization, cohesion, and leadership as well as the ways they are manifested in political actions. They will compare their group with others in New York City and, where possible, similar groups in other urban contexts. Seminar co-leaders will provide electoral results, demographic context, and public opinion data as a foundation for this work.

Location: In-person at the GC in Fall 2024.


The Futures Initiative
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309