ABSTRACT

304Over a decade before I began the journey to give voice to an “agency-oriented” approach to urban theory, I penned an equally “agency oriented” series of essays that dealt with the normative theory and practice of local democracy. These essays raised various themes linking democratic theory to national and local political practice including such themes as: the dynamics of political resistance and civil disobedience (Smith and Deutsch, 1972); the biases of interest group pluralism when compared to more participatory forms of democratic practice (Smith, 1974a and b); the advocacy of organizational democracy (Garson and Smith, 1976); analyzing the barriers to the democratization of public bureaucracies (Smith, 1976); and the political dynamics of citizen participation in urban renewal (Smith and Borghorst, 1979).