Democracy, Exclusion, and White Supremacy: How Should We Think About Exclusionary Zoning?

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David Imbroscio’s argument about exclusionary zoning contains several salient arguments that deserve the attention of those working on issues of housing justice, racial justice, and urban equity. Attention to Imbroscio’s concerns can strengthen efforts to produce greater regional equity in American metropolitan areas. I find two main elements of his argument, however, unconvincing. First, his assertion that the anti-exclusionary zoning movement “is underlain by a deep commitment to neoliberalism” is a misreading of the greater history and aims of anti-exclusionist advocacy and scholarship. Second, his claim that anti-exclusionism is anti-democratic suffers from an overly narrow and process-focused concept of democracy that ignores historical and enduring power dynamics of local land-use politics as they are and have been expressed within a system of White racial domination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-283
Number of pages15
JournalUrban Affairs Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 5 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.


  • exclusion
  • housing
  • neoliberalism
  • race


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