The Making of Twenty-First-Century Richmond

Politics, Policy, and Governance, 1988-2016

By Thad Williamson, Julian M. Hayter, Amy L. Howard

The Making of Twenty-First-Century Richmond

Approx. 360 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 8 maps, 11 tables, appends., notes, index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-8129-0
    Published: October 2024
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-8128-3
    Published: October 2024

Paperback Available October 2024, but pre-order your copy today!

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Richmond, Virginia, took center stage globally in the summer of 2020 as an epicenter of antiracist protests in the wake of the police murder of George Floyd. In a period of just a few weeks, overwhelming public support grew for removing Richmond’s Confederate monuments. Activists then transformed the remaining statue of Robert E. Lee into a shrine to African American resolve, to the Black Lives Matter movement, and to Black victims of police brutality. Coming to terms with Richmond’s tortured racial history, however, is much more difficult than toppling symbols of white supremacy.

This book explores these dynamics via a multidisciplinary framework of historical research, public policy analysis, and political analysis, showing the inner dynamics of politics and governance in Richmond. The authors reveal why change and progress has often been so difficult to achieve and why that matters, with a focus on three fundamental policy areas: education, economic development, and housing. The result is a comprehensive assessment of urban governance in a major southern city in the early twenty-first century, as well as an accounting of the policy and human consequences of both its limited successes and its recurring failures.

About the Authors

Thad Williamson is professor of leadership studies and philosophy, politics, economics, and law at the University of Richmond.
For more information about Thad Williamson, visit the Author Page.

Julian M. Hayter is associate professor of leadership studies at the University of Richmond.
For more information about Julian M. Hayter, visit the Author Page.

Amy L. Howard is associate provost for strategic initiatives and community engagement at the University of Richmond.
For more information about Amy L. Howard, visit the Author Page.


“This book captures the complexities of urban governance while giving readers a sense of the personalities of the players, as well as a feel for the quasi-machine politics that goes on behind the scenes. These authors have worked closely with city government for years; their experience is impressive and their knowledge encyclopedic, and it is all borne out in this wonderful book”. —Richard Schragger, University of Virginia

“Hayter, Howard, and Williamson contribute substantially to the scholarship related to Virginia and its capital city during the period in question while also offering insights and means of comparative analysis for similarly situated cities elsewhere in the United States”—Brian Daugherity, Virginia Commonwealth University