Royce Hanson

Royce Hanson

Research Professor
Address: MPA Building, Room 626
805 21st Street NW
Washington, District Of Columbia
Phone: 202-994-9153
Fax: 202-994-8913
[email protected]

View CV

Royce Hanson’s research spans urban planning and politics, constitutional law, and the ethics of political campaigns.

He is currently completing a book on planning politics and the public interest in Montgomery County, Maryland, a critique of a century of suburban development.

He is advising the Center for Community Preservation and Planning on establishment of a transferable development rights program for Newton County, Georgia and working on a book on the ethics of campaign rhetoric.  

Current Research

Suburb: Planning Politics and the Public Interest in Montgomery County. Planning politics operates within pervasive thematic influences: the tensions between planners’ logic of consequentiality and politicians’ logic of appropriateness, the conflicts between competing values and interests of virtual commercial and miniature republics, the rise and fall of local governing regimes, participant roles established by law and custom, and rules of civic engagement. Hanson evaluates the consequences of the development pattern produced by a century of strategic land use decisions for fiscal and environmental well being, mobility, social equity, fairness, and opportunity for choices by future generations.

Anything for a Vote: The Ethics of Campaign Rhetoric. Political campaigns often invoke metaphors of warfare, leading to ethical lapses that erode democratic values. This essay examines campaign rhetoric in light of its essential role in providing information critical to an informed electorate and as the product of strategy and tactics employed by candidates to win elections. The aim of the essay is to explore how ethical concepts might be applied by media, other critics, and candidates themselves to contribute more usefully to deliberative democracy without impairing First Amendment rights or squeezing the exuberance and joy out of the fundamental act of democratic citizenship.


Selected Publications

Rorschach Tests, Art Criticism, and the Jurisprudence of Gerrymandering. Wake Forest Journal of Law & Policy 2(2): 355-374 (June 2012)

Corporate Citizenship and Urban Problem Solving: The Changing Civic Role of Business Leaders in American Cities. Journal of Urban Affairs 32(1):1-23 (2010). With Harold Wolman, David Connolly, Katherine Pearson, and Robert McManmon.

The Fundamental Challenge in Measuring Sprawl: Which Land Should Be Considered? Professional Geographer 57(1): 94-105 (2005).  With Hal Wolman, George Galster, Michael R. Ratcliffe, K. Furdell, and Andrea Sarzinski.

Patterns and Processes of Sprawl: Phase II (2003). Final Report to U.S. Geological Survey. With George Galster, Hal Wolman, and J. Cutsinger.

Wrestling Sprawl to the Ground: Defining and Measuring an Elusive Concept. Housing Policy Debate. 12(4). 681-709 (2001). With George Galster, Harold Wolman, Jason Freihage, and Stephen Coleman.

Civic Culture and Urban Change: Governing Dallas. 2003. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press.