Marc Doussard

Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning

PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago 2008

Room 210 Temple Hoyne Buell Hall 611 Taft Drive
Champaign IL 61820

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 217.300.0379

I am a scholar of economic development, at the level of households, communities, cities and regions. My work speaks directly to the role that economic fairness and social equity play in building dynamic and innovative economies. This work began with my book Degraded Work (University of Minnesota Press, 2013, winner of the Davidoff Book Award), which draws attention to low-wage service work as a potential source of income growth and household security. I broadened focus to fast-food work in a subsequent study with the UC-Berkeley Labor Center. Wages, working conditions and rights on the job improve when workers and communities come together to force changes. Over the past five years, I have accordingly examined the strategies, tactics, organizing techniques and legal techniques that coalitions of workers use to make change on the job. This work will culminate in another book project, Justice at Work: Movements for Social and Economic Equality in U.S. Cities, currently in progress.

My work on equity and social movements concerns questions of distribution – an approach which in a vacuum would beg the question of what, exactly, is being distributed. Accordingly, I complement research on equity and fairness with studies of the surprising changes currently appearing in regional development. My work here covers the economic potential of marijuana legalization; the struggles of makers to manufacture food, clothing and connected devices without the resources of the manufacturing firm; the continuing life of manufacturing industries; and the aftermath of infrastructure privatization in U.S. cities. The future direction of this work will be dictated by current events: I have designed my work to make sense of as many economic disruptions and crises as possible. To that end, my current projects include the spread of human development ideas within economic development practice, the U.S.’s dysfunctional policy to support regional innovation, and some efforts – based on census microdata – to determine whether innovation actually creates jobs in the places that support it.

Ongoing Research Projects

Distributive fairness and economic equity are good for the economy. My research builds connections between movements to reform public policy in favor of workers and marginalized communities on the one hand, and ideas about regional economic growth, diversification and innovation on the other

Current Research Projects:

Research Interests:

  • Low-wage work
  • Political movements for economic and social equity
  • The maker movement
  • Regional innovation policy

Ongoing Projects:

Book Projects:

Justice at Work: Movements for Social and Economic Equity in U.S. Cities

The Urban Maker Economy

Other Research Projects:

Community-labor coalitions in urban politics

The human development turn in economic development

The maker movement

Producing in place: manufacturing capacity and the returns to innovation (support by the National Science Foundation)

Selected Publications

Eisenburger, Max, Marc Doussard, Greg Schrock and Laura Wolf-Powers. In Press. "Industrial Inheritances: Makers, Relatedness and Materiality in New York and Chicago. Regional Studies.

Clark, Jennifer and Marc Doussard. Forthcoming. "Devolution, Disinvestment and Uneven Development: US Industrial Policy and Evolution of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation." Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society.

Sherman, Stephen and Marc Doussard. 2019. "Which hospitals participate in community building? What medical anchors spend on community economic development." Journal of Urban Affairs

Schrock, Greg, Marc Doussard, Laura Wolf-Powers, Stephen Marotta and Max Eisenburger. 2019. "Appetite for Growth: Challenges to Scale for Food and Beverage Makers in Three U.S. Cities." Economic Development Quarterly, 33 (1): 39-50.

Doussard, Marc. 2019. "The Other Green Jobs: Legal Marijuana and the Promise of Comsumption-Driven Economic Development." Journal of Planning Education and Research 39 (1): 79-92.

Doussard, Marc, Greg Schrock, Laura Wolf-Powers, Max Eisenburger and Stephen Marotta. 2018. "Manufacturing without the Firm: Challenges for the Maker Movement in Three U.S. Cities." Environment and Planning A 50 (3): 651-670.

Lesniewski, Jacob and Marc Doussard. 2017. "Crossing Boundaries, Building Power: Chicago Organizers Embrace Race, Ideology and Coalition." Social Service Review 91 (4): 585-620.

Wolf-Powers, Laura, Marc Doussard, Greg Schrock, Max Eisenburger and Stephen Marotta. 2017. "The Maker Movement and Urban Economic Development. Journal of the American Planning Association 83 (4): 365-576.

Doussard, Marc and Jacob Lesniewski. 2017. "Fortune Favors the Organized: How Chicago Activists Won Equity Goals under Austerity." Journal of Urban Affairs 39 (5): 618-634.

Doussard, Marc, Schrock, Greg and Thomas W. Lester. 2017. "Did U.S. Regions with Manufacturing Design Generate More Production Jobs in the 2000s? New Evidence on Innovation and Regional Development." Urban Studies 54 (13): 3119-3137.

Doussard, Marc. 2016. "Organizing the Ordinary City: How Labor Reform Strategies Travel to the U.S. Heartland" International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 40 (5): 918-935.

Doussard, Marc and Ahmad Gamal. 2016. "The Rise of Wage Theft Laws: Can Community-Labor Coalitions Win Victories in State Houses?" Urban Affairs Review 52 (5): 780-807.

Doussard, Marc and Greg Schrock. 2015. "Uneven Decline: Linking Historical Patterns and Processes of Industrial Restructuring to Future Growth Trajectories." Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 8 (2): 149-165.

Doussard, Marc. 2015. "Equity Planning Outside City Hall: Rescaling Advocacy to Match Complex Problems." Journal of Planning Education and Research 35 (3): 296-306.

Ashton, Philip, Doussard, Marc and Rachel Weber. "Reconstituting the State: City Powers and Exposures in Chicago's Infrastructure Leases." Urban Studies. doi:10.1177/0042098014532962

Doussard, Marc. 2014. “Reevaluating the Pursuit of Defense Investment." Economic Development Quarterly 28 (4): 339-350.

Doussard, Marc. Degraded Work: The Struggle at the Bottom of the Labor Market. 2013, University of Minnesota Press

Ashton, Philip, Doussard, Marc and Rachel Weber. 2012. “The Financial Engineering of Infrastructure Privatization: What are Public Assets Worth to Private Investors?" Journal of the American Planning Association 78 (3): 300-312..

Doussard, Marc, Jamie Peck and Nik Theodore. 2009. “After Deindustrialization: Uneven Growth and Economic Inequality in ‘Postindustrial’ Chicago.” Economic Geography 85 (2): 183-207.

Persky, Joe, Marc Doussard and Wim Wiewel. 2009. “Metropolitan Multipliers and Limits to Local Sovereignty.” Urban Studies 46 (3): 519-536.

Doussard, Marc and Nik Theodore. 2006. “The Temporary Staffing Industry and Workforce Development: Assessing a system of Local Experiments.” Local Economy 21 (3): 264-278.

Weber, Rachel N., Marc Doussard, Saurav Dev Bhatta and Dan McGrath. 2006. “Tearing the City Down: Understanding Demolition Activity in Gentrifying Neighborhoods.” Journal of Urban Affairs 28 (1): 19-41.

Teaching and Advising

Current Courses (Number of Times Students Ranked Course as Excellent)

UP 330: The Modern American City (3)
UP 505: Urban and Regional Analysis (3)
UP 545: Economic Development Planning and Policy (3)
UP 589: Research Design (3)
UP 594: Policy Mobility (New Course)

Current Advising:

Ph.D. Students:
Max Eisenburger: Economic Development and the Solar Industry. Ph.D. Expected 2019
Steve Sherman: Policing, Planmaking and Anchor Institutions. Ph.D. Expected 2019
Ozge Yenigun: Migration, Diversity and Economic Development. Ph.D. Expected 2021.

MUP Students:
Adrienne Cooke: Fair Workweek Policies (Spring 2019)
Tejashree Kulkarni: Workforce Development (Spring 2019)
Jacob Malmsten: East-Central Illinois Labor Market Profile (Spring 2019)
David Mischiu: Municipal Land Banking
Alli Young: A Planner's Guide to the Opioid Epidemic (Spring 2019)
Yuan Zhang: Champaign-Urbana Rental Housing Analysis (Spring 2019)

Previous Advising:

Master of Urban Planning

Kalyani Agnihotri
Nick Bartholomew
Ashma Basnyat
Carol Brobeck
Alejandro Campos
Marcus da Costa
Kelly Chen
Cristen Hardin
Taryn Harm
Scott Humphrey
Mitch Margolis
Nick Mitchell
Shriya Rangarajan
Claudlene Saint Vil
Angela Urban

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