Royce Hanson’s research spans urban and metropolitan policy, planning, and politics, and constitutional law.
The Nation’s Metropolis: The Economy, Politics, and Development of Metropolitan Washington, co-authored with Harold Woman, will be published in early 2023 by the University of Pennsylvania Press. The only book focused on the development and political economy of the national capital region, The Nation’s Metropolis describes how it functions as a metropolitan political economy and focuses on four major themes: the federal government as the region’s basic industry and its role in economic, physical, and political development; race as a core force in the development of the metropolis; the mismatch of the governance and economy of the national capital region; and the conundrum of fully democratic governance for Washington, DC. Critical regional issues and policy problems are analyzed in the context of these themes, including poverty, inequality, education, housing, transportation, water supply, and governance. Hanson and Wolman conclude that the institutions and practices that accrued over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are inadequate for dealing effectively with the issues confronting the city and the region in the twenty-first. The accumulation of problems arising from the unique role of the federal government and the persistent role of race has been compounded by failure to resolve the conundrum of governance for the District of Columbia and the region in ways that reconcile the federal interests in the capital with tenets of democracy the capital purports to symbolize. They conclude by rethinking the governance of Washington and the region.