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Community Building and a Human-Capital Agenda in Hampton, Virginia: A Case Analysis of the Policy Process in a Medium-Size City, working paper 012 Open Access

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Cities, particularly older and land-locked cities like Hampton, Virginia, face intense economic pressure. Their responses, however, are not structurally determined, but involve a significant role for political agency in setting and pursuing an agenda. This case study of Hampton traces how key players saw the problems they faced, the responses they made, and the bundle of skills, strategies, and resources they brought together in responding. Working through city government and a nonprofit concerned with youth development, a group of talented professionals devised a revitalization agenda around the ideas of community building and human-capital development. By devising a process that aligned community resources with city and nonprofit programs, they linked their efforts in mutually reinforcing ways that could be sustained. Thus they created an institutional legacy that could endure even as new issues and new players came on the stage.

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