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Nik Theodore, PhD, Professor

Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and Research
Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography, Editor in Chief,
2014 to present

BA, Macalester College (1986); MUPP, University of Illinois at Chicago (1989); PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago (2000).

Research Interests

Urban political economy, urban informality, labor markets, policy mobilities, labor standards, neoliberal urbanism, economic restructuring, labor organizing, migration


UPP 501 Space, Place & Institutions
UPP 521 Globalization and International Planning II
UPP 594 Urban Informality: Conceptual Issues, Policy
Debates and Interventions
UPP 594 PhD Seminar in Qualitative Methods

Recent Publications


J. Peck and N. Theodore (2015) Fast Policy: Experimental Statecraft at the Thresholds of Neoliberalism. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

N. Brenner, J. Peck and N. Theodore (2012) Afterlives of Neoliberalism. London: Bedford Press/Architectural Association.

Journal articles
N. Theodore, D. Blaauw, A. Pretorius, and C. Schenck (2017) “The Socioeconomic Incorporation of Immigrant and Native-Born Day Labourers in Tshwane, South Africa,” International Migration, 55(1): 142-156.

M.A. Visser, N. Theodore, E.J. Meléndez, and A. Valenzuela Jr (2017) “From Economic Integration to Socioeconomic Inclusion: Worker Centers and the Social Inclusion of Day Laborers,” Urban Geography 38(2): 243-265.

N. Theodore (2016) “L’informalité et la sélectivité stratégique de l’État: La montée de l’emploi précaire dans l’industrie de la construction aux États-Unis,” Lien Social et Politiques 76: 114-136.

N. Theodore (2016) “Worlds of Work: Changing Landscapes of Production and the New Geographies of Opportunity,” Geography Compass 10(4): 179-189.

J. Peck and N. Theodore (2016) “Retracing Fast Policy” as part of the symposium “Reading Jamie Peck and Nik Theodore’s Fast Policy,” Political Geography 53: 89-99.

N. Theodore and R. Habans (2016) “Policing Immigrant Communities: Latino Perceptions of Police Involvement in Immigration Enforcement,” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 42(6): 970-988.

E.J. Meléndez, M.A. Visser, A. Valenzuela Jr., and N. Theodore (2016) “Day Labourers’ Work-Related Injuries: An Assessment of Risks, Choices, and Policies,” International Migration 54(3): 5-19.

N. Theodore (2015) “Generative Work: Day Labourers’ Freirean Praxis,” Urban Studies 52(11): 2035-2050.

N. Theodore, D. Blaauw, C. Schenck, A. Valenzuela Jr., C. Schoeman, and E.J. Meléndez (2015) “Day Labor, informality and Vulnerability in the United States and South Africa,” International Journal of Manpower 36(6): 807-823.

N. Theodore (2015) “Uneven Development and the Remaking of the Local Welfare State,” in Whatever happened to local government? A review symposium, Regional Studies, Regional Science 2(1): 434-446.

N. Theodore (2015) “Rebuilding the House of Labor: Unions and Worker Centers in the Residential Construction Industry,” Working USA 18(1): 59-76.

E.J. Meléndez, M.A. Visser, N. Theodore, and A. Valenzuela Jr. (2014) “Worker Centers and Day Laborers’ Wages,” Social Science Quarterly 95(3): 835-851.

A. Bernhardt, M. Spiller, and N. Theodore (2013) “Employers Gone Rogue: Explaining Industry Variation in Violations of Labor Standards,” Industrial and Labor Relations Review 66(4): 808-832.

J. Peck, N. Theodore, and N. Brenner (2013) “Neoliberal Urbanism Redux?” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 37(3): 1091-1099.

J. Peck and N. Theodore (2012) “Politicizing Contingent Work: Countering Neoliberal Labor-Market Regulation…From the Bottom Up?” South Atlantic Quarterly> 111(4): 741-761.

N. Theodore (2012) “Policing Borders: Unauthorized Immigration and the Pernicious Politics of Attrition,” Social Justice 38(1/2): 87-102.

J. Peck and N. Theodore (2012) “Reanimating Neoliberalism: Process Geographies of Neoliberalisation,” Social Anthropology 20(2): 177-185.

J. Peck, N. Theodore and Neil Brenner (2012) “ Neoliberalism Resurgent? Market Rule after the Great Recession,” South Atlantic Quarterly 111(2): 265-288.

N. Theodore and J. Peck (2012) “Framing Neoliberal Urbanism: Translating ‘Common Sense’ Urban Policy across the OECD Zone,” European Urban and Regional Studies> 19(1): 20-41.

J. Peck and N. Theodore (2012) “Follow the Policy: A Distended Case Approach,” Environment and Planning A 44(1): 21-30.

Book chapters
N. Theodore (2017) “Regional Unemployment and Regional Labor Markets,” in The International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, The Earth, Environment, and Technology. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, in press.

N. Theodore (2016) “Unions in the Obama Era: Laboring under False Pretenses?” in J. DeFilippis, ed., Urban Policy in the Time of Obama. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 149-163.

J. Peck and N. Theodore (2016) “Paying for Good Behavior: Cash Transfer Programs in the Wild,” in A. Roy and E. S. Crane, eds., Territories of Poverty: Rethinking North and South. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 103-125.

N. Theodore (2015) “Migrant Civil Society and the Metropolitics of Belonging,” in M. Pagano, ed., The Return of the Neighborhood as an Urban Strategy. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 139-159.

N. Brenner, J. Peck and N. Theodore (2014) “New Constitutionalism and Variegated Neoliberalism,” in S. Gill and C. Cutler, eds., New Constitutionalism and World Order, 126-142. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

N. Theodore (2014) “Working in the Shadow Zones of Urban Economies: Using Questionnaires to Research Hidden Populations,” in K. Ward, ed., Researching the City: A Guide for Students, 70-84. London: Sage.

J. Peck and N. Theodore (2014) “On the Global Frontier of Post-Welfare Policymaking: Conditional Cash Transfers as Fast Social Policy,” in P. Sandermann, ed., The End of Welfare as We Know It? Continuity and Change in Western Welfare State Settings and Practices, 53-70. Opladen: Barbara Budrich Publishers.

N. Theodore (2014) “Low-Wage Work and the Fraying of the Social Safety Net,” in M. Pagano, ed., Metropolitan Resilience in a Time of Economic Turmoil, 50-54. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press.

N. Theodore and J. Peck (2013) “Selling Flexibility: Temporary Staffing in a Volatile Economy,” in J. Fudge and K. Strauss, eds., Temporary Work, Agencies and Unfree Labour; Insecurity in the New World of Work, 26-47. London: Routledge.

J. Peck and N. Theodore (2013) “Chicago beyond Fordism: Between Regulatory Crisis and Sustainable Growth,” in F. Martinelli, F. Moulaert and A. Novy, eds., Urban and Regional Development Trajectories in Contemporary Capitalism, 173-194. London: Routledge.

N. Theodore (2013) “Temporary Worker Programs: A Workers’ Rights Perspective,” in J. Gans, E. L. Replogle and D. J. Tichenor, eds., Debates on U.S. Immigration, 287-292. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

P. Brogan (2013) “Neoliberalism and the Matrix of Action: In Conversation with Neil Brenner, Jamie Peck and Nik Theodore,” in C. Fanelli and B. Evans, eds., Great Recession-Proof? Shattering the Myth of Canadian Exceptionalism, 183-197. Ottawa: Red Quill Books.

N. Theodore, A. Bernhardt and J. DeFillipis (2012) “Under the Radar: Tracking the Violation of Labour Standards in Low-Wage Industries in the U.S.,” in C. Warhurst, F. Carré, P. Findlay and C. Tilly, eds., Are Bad Jobs Inevitable? Trends, Determinants, and Responses to Job Quality in the Twenty-first Century, 208-223. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

J. Peck, N. Theodore and N. Brenner (2012) “Neoliberalism, interrupted,” in D. Cahill, L. Edwards and F. Stilwell, eds., Neoliberalism: Beyond the Free Market, 15-30. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

N. Brenner, N. Theodore and J. Peck (2012) “Towards Deep Neoliberalization?” in J. Künkel and M. Mayer, eds., Neoliberal Urbanism and its Contestations – Crossing Theoretical Boundaries, 27-45. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

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University Scholar, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2015-2018.

Researcher of the Year, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2015.

Thomson Reuters "Highly Cited Researcher 2002-12," 2014.

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Visiting Appointments

2016, Visiting Researcher, African Centre for Cities,
University of Cape Town

2015, IAS Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor, University of Bristol

2013-14, Hallsworth Visiting Professor, University of Manchester

2010, Visiting Professor, International Political Economy and Ecology, York University

2009, Visiting Professor, Department of Economics and Econometrics, University of Johannesburg

2009, Visiting Research Fellow, Institute for Social Sciences,
Cornell University

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Boards and Advisory Committees

Chicago Foundation for Women, Academic Advisory Council, 2013 to present.

International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Editorial Board, 2013 to present.

SACOM (Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior), China, Academic Advisory Board, 2007 to present.

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Room 231

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