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Beyond Privatopia | Review Comments

Beyond Privatopia"For those looking for a second-generation analysis of community associations, Beyond Privatopia is essential. In his 1994 classic, Privatopia, Evan McKenzie documented the rise of a major new American governing institution, the private community association. Local government was being privatized on a massive scale—not always to the best effects, McKenzie concluded. In this new book he explores developments since then; as always, he is skeptical of conventional wisdom and proposes significant reforms."

—Robert H. Nelson, Professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, and author of Private Neighborhoods and the Transformation of Local Government

"For international scholars of private urban governance, Evan McKenzie's writings are among the richest and most trusted sources. His unique position as an open-minded and thoughtful political scientist and a practicing lawyer who advises homeowner associations means that Beyond Privatopia, like his earlier Privatopia, will become required reading. McKenzie’s insights increase the probability that legal protections for public governments, private governments, and homeowners will emerge.”

—Chris Webster, Professor of Urban Planning and Development, Cardiff University

"Once again Evan McKenzie joins great scholarship with practical experience to explain the legal and social nuances of common interest developments. In Beyond Privatopia, he shows us why private government has come to dominate new housing and provides insight into why community associations often do not work as intended. McKenzie’s assessment will interest anyone looking to understand the history, challenges, and survival of America’s thousands of community associations."

—Tyler P. Berding, author of The Uncertain Future of Community Associations

"Evan McKenzie combines his involvement as an attorney in common interest housing with academic scholarship in law and political science, and his unique wealth of experience appears on every page. Beyond Privatopia is accessible and balanced, covering theoretical perspectives and practical considerations and featuring telling illustrations from real life. McKenzie illuminates the various roles played by the law in developing, managing, and regulating common interest housing within a wider political context."

—Sarah Blandy, Senior Lecturer, School of Law, University of Leeds

"Beyond Privatopia is a masterful call for scholars, practitioners, and public officials to move beyond their own experiential silos and reexamine their dogma. This book well illustrates our need to think critically about a subject too long treated with formulaic, simplistic responses and the naivety that comes from seeing but one perspective. McKenzie elevates the dialogue, proposing approaches important for public and private governance with a genuine appreciation for and understanding of both."

—Wayne S. Hyatt, Hyatt & Stubblefield, P.C.

"In Privatopia, Evan McKenzie explored how the common interest community came into existence. With this long-awaited sequel, he revisits this topic to show the enormous changes that have occurred over the past 17 years and how private communities now compete with local government. In his usual fastidious fashion, McKenzie has thoroughly researched changes in common property ownership and provides a readable examination of the latest trends and the parallel roads heading into the future. He accomplishes this with a remarkable range of knowledge and outstanding narrative skill."

—Jordan I. Shifrin, attorney at law and author of Welcome to CondoWorld!...Where Life Is Almost Perfect


Beyond Privatopia: Rethinking Residential Private Government, by Evan McKenzie, is available from the Urban Institute Press (ISBN 978-0-87766-769-8, paperback, 164 pages, $26.50)

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