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We are interested in studying the diverse processes that constitute globalization and their impacts on urban conditions and people’s daily lives in cities in both US and international contexts. Our interest is in the urban and regional dimensions of these changes: in capital flows, labor markets, labor flows, immigration, and welfare state restructuring; identity, culture, and concepts of citizenship; and social and cultural processes in domestic and international settings.


Sanjoy ChakravortyRoman CybriwskyMelissa GilbertRob Mason, Hamil Pearsall

Research Projects

Persistence of Inequality and the Distribution of Income and Industry (Sanjoy Chakravorty)

This ongoing research examines the spatial and social distribution of income and industry and approaches broader theoretical questions of the persistence of inequality. The empirical results have been reported in two recent books: Fragments of Inequality: Social, Spatial, and Evolutionary Analyses of Income Distribution (2006, London : Routledge) and Made in India: The Economic Geography and Political Economy of Industrialization (2007, Oxford University Press). This research has been funded by several institutions, including The National Science Foundation, The World Bank, and The American Institute of Indian Studies.

Slide03Tokyo’s Roppongi: Conflicts of Space and Society in a Global Nightclub District (Roman Cybriwsky)

A recent book, Roppongi Crossing: Demise of a Tokyo Nightclub District and the Reshaping of a Global City, is an ethnographic account of a famous international nightclub district under siege by Tokyo officialdom and powerful developers who are remaking the area into one of upscale shopping malls, soaring office towers, international hotels, and new museums, concerts venues, and other cultural attractions. As a result, the nightclub district is on its last dance.  Over the decades since the US Occupation of Japan after World War II through the country’s rise to global economic prominence in the latter 20th century, Roppongi had been a critical venue for internationalization in Japan, and mixing between Japanese party-goers and Tokyo’s foreign residents and short-term visitors. The district thrived especially when disco was king. However, by the end of the 20th century, the area had become known for higher crime rates, drugs, and prostitution, and for hostesses, strippers, and sex workers from all continents save Antarctica and many countries. Roppongi Hills (illustrated) and Tokyo Midtown are examples of large redevelopment projects that are intended to usher in a cleaned-up version of internationalization in the city.

Slide04Coping with Vulnerabilities to Multiple Stressors in Chiapas, Mexico (Hamil Pearsall)

This project examines whether the dual processes of globalization and climatic variability lead to diversification of agricultural coping strategies or transformation to more diversified livelihoods through a case study of vulnerabilities in Eastern Chiapas, Mexico. Chiapanecos have experienced multiple stressors over the past years, including more frequent and increased periods of drought, hurricanes, and landslides, unsustainable agricultural practices, and dramatic population growth.