New Books Network

Serin D. Houston

Imagining Seattle

Social Values in Urban Governance

University of Nebraska Press 2019

New Books in American StudiesNew Books in GeographyNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Public PolicyNew Books in SociologyNew Books in the American WestNew Books Network November 6, 2019 Ryan Driskell Tate

In Imagining Seattle: Social Values in Urban Governance (University of Nebraska Press, 2019), the geographer Serin Houston complicates Seattle’s liberal and progressive reputation through...

In Imagining Seattle: Social Values in Urban Governance (University of Nebraska Press, 2019), the geographer Serin Houston complicates Seattle’s liberal and progressive reputation through a close ethnographic study of its urban governance. She sheds light on the institutional classism and racism and market-orientated thinking that pervades the decisions and practices of environmentalism and economic growth in the city. Houston finds three major social values–social justice, sustainability, and creativity—pervade policy creation in the city and condition privileges and oppressions.


Ryan Driskell Tate is a Ph.D. candidate in American history at Rutgers University. He teaches courses on modern United States history, environmental history, and histories of labor and capitalism. He is completing a book on energy development in the American West. @rydriskelltate