404 Maxcy Hall / 313 Watson Institute
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2001
Areas of Interest:
Comparative Political Sociology
I am an ethnographer interested in questions of politics and culture, critical social theory, and cities. I have written about and continue to carry out research on actually existing civil societies and participatory democracy, with a special interest in Brazil, but slowly learning about other contexts. I also continue to write on critical social theory, especially within the ‘relational’ tradition, and on race relations. My last monograph, Militants and Citizens (2005: Stanford University Press) was an ethnography of popular participation in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and a forthcoming book, Making Spaces for Civil Society, (co-authored with Patrick Heller and Marcelo K. Silva) examines participatory arrangements in several pairs of cities in Brazil. My most recent research has been about the travel and translation of participatory blueprints and ideas in the current era.
I am engaged in several collaborative projects, including engaged work of promoting participatory democracy in the US:
- The Changing Nature of Public Space, with Ernesto Ganuza (IESA, Córdoba), Giovanni Allegretti (University of Coimbra), Carsten Herzenberg (Marc Bloch Center), Heloise Nez (University of Paris VIII), and Francisco Francés (University of Alicante). (Funded 2010-2012 by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation)
- Interrogating Civil Society: An Intern-American Consortium, with Sonia Alvarez, Agustin Lao, Millie Thayer (UMASS Amherst), and Jeff Rubin (Boston University). (Funded by Ford Foundation, 2009-2012)
- The Participatory Budgeting Project, with Josh Lerner (The New School for Social Research) and Karen Dolan (Cities for Progress). (Seed funding from the New World Foundation, 2009-2010)
- Beyond Good Governance, with Vasuki Nesiah (Brown University).
- The Paradoxes of Participation: Social Movements and Political Institutions in recent Brazil, with Evelina Dagnino, Ana Claudia Teixeira, Luciana Tatagiba, Liza Serafim (University of Campinas). (Funded 2009-2011 as part of the Interrogating Civil Society Consortium)
- The Right to the City – Associational Activity and Urban Space in São Paulo. With Adrian Gurza, John Sydenstricker-Neto (CEBRAP), and Marcelo K. Silva (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul)
Recent & Forthcoming Publications (2005-present)
- ‘Whither Politics: Comment on Freschi and Meme’ forthcoming in Sociologica (Italy).
- ‘Representation by Design: Participatory Budgeting in Brazilian Municipalities’ with Patrick Heller. Forthcoming in Rethinking Representation, edited by Olle Thornquist and Christian Stokke (2009 Palgrave)
- ‘Politicizing the Civic: Porto Alegre’s Participation in Context’ Forthcoming in Political Participation in Brazil in Chile, edited by Joni Uhlenbeck and Gerard Van der Ree. (2009 Brill Publishers)
- ‘Cities as the New Spaces for Citizenship Demands: The Movements for Urban Democracy in Brazil, Mexico and South Africa’ in Altered States, M. Menser and H. Gautney, editors. (2009)
- ‘Can Justice be Planned? On the Connections of Policy, Politics, + Practice’ in Projections (MIT Journal of Planning) 8: 224-231. 2008.
- ‘Making Space for Civil Society: Local Democracy in Brazil.’ With Patrick Heller and Marcelo K. Silva. Social Forces 86 (3): 911-935. 2008.
- ‘The Ethnos in the Polis: Political Ethnographies in Sociology.’ With Brian Connor. In Sociology Compass 2(1): 139-155. 2008.
- ‘Could Participatory Budgeting work in the United States?’ with Josh Lerner. In The Good Society 16 (1): 8-13. 2008.
- ‘The New and the Old in the Workers’ Party of Brazil’ with Sofia Checa. Forthcoming in Leftovers: To Revisit Utopia Unarmed, J. Castañeda and M.A. Morales-Barba (eds) (2008, Routledge)
- ‘A Etnografia da Sociedade Civil: O curioso caso do associativismo etnico em Salvador.’ (The Ethnography of Civil Society: The Curious Case of Ethnic Associationalism in Salvador) in Avritzer, L. ed. A Sociedade Civil no Nordeste. (2008, UFMG)
- Lost in Translation: Brazil’s PT from Local Practices to National Power’ with Sofia Checa. In WorkingUSA: A Journal of Labor and Society 10 (4): 211-235. 2007.
- Review of Alexander’s The Civil Sphere in Choice. 2007
- ‘The Civilizing Force of Social Movements: Corporate and Liberal Codes in Brazil’s Public Sphere,’ in Sociological Theory, 24 (4): 285-311. 2006. (Featured Research Article for December 2006 Member News and Notes of the American Sociological Association)
- ‘Deliberative Democracy and Local Governance: Towards a New Agenda,’ with Marcus A. Melo in International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 30 (3), 587–600, 2006. (Introduction to a Symposium on Deliberative Democracy)
- ‘Evaluating Empowerment: Participatory Budgeting in Brazilian Municipalities.’ With Patrick Heller, Shubham Chaudhuri, and Marcelo Kunrath Silva, 95-128 in Alsop, R., M. Bertelsen and J. Holland (eds). Empowerment in Practice: From Analysis to Implementation (2006, The World Bank)
- Performing Democracy in the Streets: The Connections of Legislative Theater and Participatory Budgeting, ‘ in Schutzman, M. and J. Cohen-Cruz (eds), A Boal Companion: Dialogues on Theatre and Cultural Politics (2006, Routledge)
- ‘Decentralization as Opportunity Structure: Inequality and Innovation in Brazil’ 53-80 In Bardhan, P. and D. Mukerjee,(eds) Decentralization and Local Governance in Developing Countries: A Comparative Perspective (2006, MIT Press)
- 'Porto Alegre: The Dynamism of the Unorganized' 37-56 in Chavez, D. and B. Goldfrank (eds), The Left and the City (2006, Latin American Bureau)
- ‘The Radical Idea of Having a Voice in Your Government: Lessons from the Global South.’ In Boston Review, Spring 2006. (4,000 words)
- ‘Lula at the Crossroads’ in Economic and Political Weekly (India), February 2006 (4,500 words).
- ‘Crisis of the PT’ in Against the Current, May 2006 (4,000 words).
- Review of Holzner and Holzner’s Transparency and Global Change in Contemporary Sociology, 2006
- Review of Corbridge, Williams, Srivastava, and Véron’s Seeing the State: Governance and Governmentality in The American Journal of Sociology, 2006.
- ‘Interrogating Connections: From Public Criticisms to Critical Publics in Burawoy's Public Sociology’,’ in Critical Sociology 31(3): 339-352, 2005.
- ‘The Road (Not Yet?) Taken: The Workers’ Party after 18 months of National Power.’ In Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies, 2005. (2500 words)
- ‘The Party and the Multitude: The Workers’ Party (PT) and the World Social Forum,’ in B. Pobodnik, editor, Transforming Globalization, 2005.
- Review of Robert Fishman’s Democracy’s Voices in Mobilization, 2005.
- ‘Anything but Racism: How Sociologists Limit the Significance of Racism’ with Eduardo Bonilla Silva, in White Theories, White Methods, T. Zuberi, editor. 2005.