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Mark Purcell

Departmental Faculty

Mark Purcell, MA, PhD
Associate Professor, Urban Design and Planning


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  • Mailing Address
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Office: 410F Gould Hall
Fax: (206) 685-9597
Mailing Address:
University of Washington
Box 355740
Department of Urban Design and Planning
Seattle, WA 98195-5740
Street Address:
3949 15th Ave NE
448E Gould Hall
Seattle, WA 98195

I am interested in discovering ways to make cities more democratic. As a part of current processes of globalization, cities are currently undergoing a shift toward a more neoliberal (market-based) political economy. Lots of researchers are concerned that this shift has severely undermined democracy. However, rather than studying further the negative impacts of neoliberalism on democracy, my work searches for and analyzes actually existing new models of democracy. I am interested in new models that reimagine our democratic assumptions and practices in ways that oppose neoliberalism and have the potential to produce a more humane and more civilized urban future.

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Selected Publications

Purcell, M. 2013. The Down-Deep Delight of Democracy. Wiley-Blackwell.

Purcell, M. 2012. Gramsci Is Not Dead: For a ‘Both/And’ Approach to Radical Geography. Forthcoming special issue of ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies.

Purcell, M. 2012. To Inhabit Well: Counter-Hegemonic Movements and the Right to the City, Forthcoming special issue of Urban Geography on Geographies of Urban Political Contestation.

Purcell, M. 2011. The Right to the City and Contemporary Urban Movements, for Cahier de la Cambre no. 11. I. Boniburini, L. Moretto, H. Smith, and J. Le Maire, eds. Project funded by the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research and by the Institut Supérieur d’Architecture La Cambre.

Purcell, M. Hegemony and difference in political movements: articulating networks of equivalence. New Political Science 31(3): 291-318.

Purcell, M. Resisting neoliberalization: Communicative Planning or Radical Democratic Movements? Planning Theory 8(2): 140-165.

Purcell, M. Le droit à la ville et les mouvements urbains contemporains. Rue Descartes 63: 40-50.

Purcell, M. 2008. Recapturing Democracy: neoliberalism and the struggle for alternative urban futures. Routledge: New York.

Purcell, M. City-Regions, Neoliberal Globalization, and Democracy: A Research Agenda. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 31(1): 197-206.

Purcell, M. 2007. Skilled, cheap, and desperate: Non-tenure-track faculty and the delusion of meritocracy. Antipode 39(1): 121-143.

Purcell, M. and B. Born (equal authors) 2006. Avoiding the local trap: Scale and Food Systems in Planning Research. Journal of Planning Education and Research 26(2): 195-207.

Purcell, M. 2006. Urban Democracy and the Local Trap. Urban Studies 43(11):1921-1941.

Purcell, M. and Brown, J. (equal authors) 2005. Against the local trap: scale and the study of environment and development. Progress in Development Studies. 5(4): 279-297.

Purcell, M. and Brown, J. (equal authors) 2005. There’s nothing inherent about scale: Political ecology, the local trap, and the politics of development in the Brazilian Amazon. Geoforum 36: 607-624.

Purcell, M. (first author) and Nevins, J. 2005. Pushing the boundary: state restructuring, state theory, and the case of U.S.-Mexico border enforcement in the 1990s. Political Geography 24(2): 211-235.

Purcell, M. 2004. Regionalism and the liberal-radical divide. Antipode 36(4): 760-765.

Purcell, M. 2004 (publication date 2002). Excavating Lefebvre: the right to the city and its urban politics of the inhabitant. Geojournal 58(2-3): 99-108.

Purcell, M. 2003. Citizenship and the right to the global city: reimagining the capitalist world order. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 27(3): 564-590.

Purcell, M. 2003. Islands of practice and the Marston/Brenner debate: Toward a more synthetic critical human geography. Progress in Human Geography 27(4): 317-332.

Purcell, M. (with D. Martin and E. McCann). 2003. Space, scale, governance, and representation: contemporary geographical perspectives on urban politics and policy. Journal of Urban Affairs 25(2): 113-121.

Purcell, M. 2002. Politics in global cities: Los Angeles charter reform and the new social movements. Environment and Planning A 34(1): 23-42.

Purcell, M. 2002. The state, regulation, and global restructuring: reasserting the political in political economy. Review of International Political Economy 9(2): 284-318.

Purcell, M. 2001. Metropolitan Political Reorganization and the Political Economy of Urban Growth: The Case of San Fernando Valley Secession. Political Geography 20(5): 101-121.

Purcell, M. 2001. Neighborhood Activism Among Homeowners as a Politics of Space. Professional Geographer 53(2): 178-194.

Purcell, M. 2000. The Decline of the Political Consensus for Urban Growth: Evidence from Los Angeles. Journal of Urban Affairs 22(1): 85-100.

Purcell, M. 1998. A Place for the Copts: Imagined Territory and Spatial Conflict in Egypt. Ecumene 5(4): 432-451.

Purcell, M. 1997. Ruling Los Angeles: Neighborhood Movements, Urban Regimes, and the Production of Space in Southern California. Urban Geography 18(8): 684-704.

University of Washington
Department of Urban Design and Planning · 410 Gould Hall · Box 355740 · Seattle, WA 98195-5740 · Phone: (206) 543-4190 · Fax: (206) 685-9597 · email: udp@uw.edu