Herman L. Boschken

San Jose State University
Management & Policy

711 Puma Court
Davis, CA
herman.boschken@sjsu.edu |  Visit Personal Website

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Primary research is in four urban subtexts: (1) land use, economic development and sustainability, (2) globalization and transportation, and (3) public agency management and policy outcomes. To date, this work has been reported in five books, 30 referred journal articles, and numerous professional conference papers. Three of the books include (1) Land Use Conflicts (University of Illinois Press, 1982) which examined alternative approaches to government policymaking in dealing with the consequences of rural transformations. (2) Strategic Design and Organizational Change (University of Alabama Press, 1988) which examined American seaports during the upstart of contemporary economic globalization and the "container revolution." (3) Social Class, Politics and Urban Markets (Stanford University press, 2002) which focused on urban infrastructure policy with an emphasis on regional public transit agencies. It received the 2003 Best Book Award in public policy from the Academy of Management. Since 2000, my work shifted to globalization and its differential impacts on American cities. The research is multi-faceted. First, given the inadequacy of "global city" definitions, the research constructed a theory-driven profile of 7 dimensions to empirically discern global from less-global cities. Work on this phase was published in URBAN STUDIES (January, 2008). Second, in work underway, the composite is being used both as a dependent variable dealing with socioeconomic and governmental antecedents of the global city and as an independent variable looking at global-city consequences (i.e., socioeconomic polarization, traffic congestion, and environmental sustainability). One aspect of this second phase is on global cities and ecological sustainability which has been published in URBAN STUDIES (2013). Using SES and organization systems theory, an AMERICAN REVIEW OF PUBLIC ADMIN article (2017) addresses contextual complexity, policymaking impediments, and intergovernmental network design in global cities dealing with globalization-induced development and ecological sustainability.

Boschken, Herman L. Forthcoming 2017. "Aligning a Multi-Government Network With Situational Context: Metropolitan Governance as an Organizational Systems Problem." American Review of Public Administration.
Abstract: The governance of major metropolitan areas is often associated with a “fragmented” and “uncoordinated” multi-government apparatus, frequently sculpted from years of particularistic ad hoc administrative reforms. This image of dysfunctional structure gains high salience when the metropolitan context is accentuated by complexity and fluidity, especially where intense paradoxical forces of economic development and ecological sustainability are present. The most visible “solutions” for such a state often come from bureaucrats seeking to “streamline” government according to norms of standardization and hierarchy. But, calls for reform may also come from scholars of polycentric government, who see the problem as a misalignment of administrative structure with the metropolitan context. This article adopts the latter, less-appreciated perspective that argues such dysfunctions in a metropolitan multi-government network are essentially problems of adaptive organizational design. Different than the bureaucratic model, treatises on new public management or group-behavior theory, it emphasizes the contextual nature of public administration by employing the holistic framework of “organizational systems.” It illustrates the logic by introducing a toolbox for multi-government design that speaks to the adaptive qualities of government networks in whole metropolitan areas. Its purpose is to reinvigorate this holistic approach in thinking about the way we look at multi-government networks in major metropolitan areas.
Boschken, Herman L. 2009. “Spanning Policymaking Silos in Urban Development and Environmental Management: When Global Cities Are Coastal Cities Too." Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Toronto.
Abstract: An obvious but grossly understated realization of urban policymaking is that global cities are mostly found in the coastal zone. This is true worldwide but it is especially characteristic of American global cities, where virtually all are found in coastal areas. According to NOAA, 53 percent of the U.S. population lives in the coastal zone and 40 percent of the coastal population live in global cities. This reality poses an uncomfortable truth about a basic conflict between managing global city growth and the sustainability of coastal resources. The former is often seen as the ultimate achievement of a “new political culture,” while the latter refers to the most complex, delicate and interdependent sub-ecology on earth. As a result, American global cities exist today with a profound sense of discordant duality. As global cities, they are known for their inspiring built environments where art meets function and for their centrality in the world economy. Most are distinguished as world “gateways” harboring major airports and “load-center” seaports. They also serve as command centers for managing world commerce, as the nexus of multi-cultural immersion, as world research crucibles, and as world stages for art and entertainment. As coastal cities, they are associated with the beauty of a coastal habitat and their proximity and access to the open sea. The bays, wetlands and shorelines draw people to observe what happens when the sea meets the land. But a less conspicuous view is of the city overlaid on a “coastal zone” biologists see as a highly productive nursery of life for land and marine organisms but subject to intense and growing human population pressures. Although much of the American population chooses to live in coastal regions because of their rich biodiversity, and in global cities because of the robust employment and lifestyle opportunities, the duality does not always mix well in producing sustainable outcomes. The paper develops the metrics for this duality and identifies two principal contributors to it: the concentration of foreign trade through global-city seaports and the accelerated activity levels and mobility needs of a global professional managerial class. But the paper goes further by also focusing on the piecemeal public-policy process as the source of concern for sustainability, especially in managing transportation, economic development, migration, CO2 emissions, pollution and species extinction. Specifically, global-city outcomes have often appeared to be driven by a “silo effect” (the dysfunctional segregation of policy disciplines often caused by differences in ideology, scientific fragmentation, and professional misunderstanding that limit the ability of one discipline to sufficiently interact with another). The significant management challenge, therefore, is about how the policy process might be amended and restructured in light of the duality. This paper addresses a need to manage the duality by producing new intergovernmental instruments for spanning the policy silos. It specifically proposes a multiple-perspectives approach involving interdisciplinary team policymaking and other supporting institutional arrangements.
Boschken, Herman L. 2002. "Social Class, Politics, and Urban Markets: The Makings of Bias In Policy Outcomes." Stanford University Press.
Abstract: Best Book of 2002-03, Public Sector, Academy of Management. A theory-driven empirical analysis which examines rival theses about the determinants of bias in policy outcomes of urban public agencies. Analysis employs a combination of large-scale statistical methods and executive interviews in urban transit agencies. Clarence Stone says “This impressive book poses important questions about policy bias in a plural society.” Terry Clark says “Boschken weaves fragmented social science literatures into a rich tapestry and sets a new standard for creative examination. Policy analysis has come of age.” Lorraine Minnite (Columbia University) says, this book “streaks like a comet across the grey sky of the policy studies field. It is a major contribution, redefining the field in its wake as a necessary and sophisticated place to do theoretically-informed, applied, interdisciplinary work in the social sciences.”
Boschken, Herman L. 2015. "The New Panama Canal in a Global Context." Presented at the Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco.
Abstract: Without the "container revolution" (1970-present) and its redesign of seaport and maritime-trade infrastructures, globalization as we know it would not exist. With the recent enlargements of the Panama and Suez Canals, many new implications for U.S. economic trade are unfolding. This presentation at the Commonwealth Club of California, outlines recent changes in world trade and infrastructure development, and poses five factors that will likely determine winners and losers in the unfolding developments of this highly competitive world trade-route system.
Boschken, Herman L. 2013. "Global Cities Are Coastal Cities Too: Paradox in Sustainability?" Urban Studies, 50(9) 1760–1778, July 2013.
Abstract: World-wide, most global cities are located in coastal zones, but a paradox of sustainability is especially striking for US global cities. This article examines such a paradox, drawn between globalisation-induced development and coastal ecosystems. It focuses on two developmental components found principally in global cities: the agglomeration of foreign waterborne commerce and global business services; and, the accelerated activity and mobility habits of a global professional class. Despite formidable gaps in research, some anecdotal evidence suggests that unique hazards exist for the coastal ecology as globalisation pressures expand a global city’s urban footprint.
URL: http://usj.sagepub.com/
Boschken, Herman L. 2008. "A Multiple-Perspective Construct of the American Global City." Urban Studies, Vol 45(1): 3-26.
Abstract: The term ‘global city’ bestows an image of an urban place that is contemporary, international, multicultural, ‘wired’, cosmopolitan, polarizing and having geographically boundless power. Nevertheless, the literature fails to produce a common identity for setting the global city apart empirically and in analyzing policy issues related to it. This paper argues and tests the proposition that the global city is better described and analysed from a holistic construct of competing perspectives. To do this, it: identifies seven global city dimensions; subjects the dimensions to a principal components analysis; and, uses the resulting composite factor to drive a K-means cluster analysis to differentiate 53 US urbanized areas. The results identify significant clusters that set apart global cities and provide a broadened base for cross-disciplinary comparative urban research.

Substantive Focus:
Economic Policy
Energy and Natural Resource Policy
Environmental Policy
Governance SECONDARY
Urban Public Policy PRIMARY

Theoretical Focus:
Policy Process Theory PRIMARY
Policy Analysis and Evaluation SECONDARY