Associate Professor of Political Science
Steve McGovern joined the Political Science Department at Haverford in 1999 after earning a Ph.D. in American Politics at Cornell University and a J.D. at New York University School of Law. His teaching and research interests focus on urban politics and public policy and the varied ways in which people become engaged in politics in order to effect change, including participation in protest movements, public interest groups, and community-based organizing.
B.A., M.A., and Ph.D., Cornell University
J.D., New York University School of Law
Steve's research generally concerns the role of ideas, ideology, and political culture in understanding political change in American cities. His previous research endeavored to identify the mechanisms of political change by highlighting both the top-down influence of political elites exercising strong ideological leadership (e.g. the case of Mayor Stephen Goldsmith in Indianapolis during the 1990s) and the bottom-up impact of the counterhegemonic activism of community groups and other grassroots organizations (e.g. the case of the growth-control movement in San Francisco during the 1980s). Steve's more recent research explores the ideological and cultural roots of a possible regime transformation in Philadelphia. His current work examines the political implications of the rise of a so-called creative class in U.S. cities. His research has also analyzed various aspects of urban policy, particularly urban development.
"Ambivalence over Participatory Planning within a Progressive Regime: Waterfront Planning in Philadelphia," Journal of Planning Education and Research, vol. 33, no. 3 (September 2013)
"Mobilization on the Waterfront: The Ideological/Cultural Roots of Potential Regime Change in Philadelphia," Urban Affairs Review, vol. 44, no. 5 (May 2009)
"Evolving Visions of Waterfront Development in Postindustrial Philadelphia: The Formative Role of Elite Ideologies," Journal of Planning History, vol. 7, no. 4 (November 2009)
"Philadelphia's Neighborhood Transformation Intiative: A Case Study of Mayoral Leadership, Bold Planning and Conflict," Housing Policy Debate, vol. 17, no. 3 (2006)
"Ideology, Consciousness, and Inner-City Revitalization: The Case of Stephen Goldsmith's Indianapolis," Journal of Urban Affairs, vol. 25, no. 1 (2003)
"Neighborhoods, Race, and the State," review essay, Journal of Urban History, vol. 29, no. 6 (Sept. 2003)
Urban Policy Reconsidered: Dialogues on the Problems and Prospects of American Cities, Charles C. Euchner and Stephen J. McGovern (New York: Routledge, 2003)
The Politics of Downtown Development: Dynamic Political Cultures in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. (Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1998)