Antipode: Renew Orleans?

By John Arena

Schneider_Renew coverAaron Schneider’s central argument is that post-Katrina New Orleans represents, in concentrated form, broader capitalist globalization processes taking place around the world. New Orleans underwent a rapid, post-Katrina political consolidation of a new globally-oriented local elite that displaced the previous “black urban regime” political machine. The now hegemonic local elite tied to global capital accumulated power over decades in various “satellite government” entities–“boards, commissions, and public-benefit corporations … [that] exercise public authority in combination, and occasionally in competition, with formal legislative and executive powers” (p.41). Schneider emphasizes that the “local members of the globally oriented elites” do not directly “call the shots”, but rather they “position themselves as the necessary intermediaries” for the formal members of what sociologist William Robinson (2004) terms the “transnational capitalist class”.


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