LUSKIN GLOBAL FACULTY
Professor Michael Storper’s research and teaching interests fall into five, closely linked, areas: Economic geography, meaning the forces that affect the ways the economy organizes itself in geographical space. These forces are many and sundry, ranging from technology, industry structure and market structure, to institutions, effects of history, and policies. A core problem for me is the long-standing tension between the geographical concentration of activity and specialization of regional and national economies and the spreading out of activity into wider geographical spaces, both of which are occurring in the current wave of globalization. Globalization, meaning the ever-increasing geographical scale of economic processes, and some of the associated processes of change in the scale at which management of firms, markets, and institutions operate.
Stephen Commins works in areas of regional and international development, with an emphasis on service delivery and governance in fragile states. Currently, he is Strategy Manager, Fragile States, International Medical Corps, and coordinator for the Health and Fragile States Network. His recent work has included “testing the DFID state building” framework in Lao PDR and Cambodia, managing studies on disasters and safety nets for the World Bank in Bangladesh, a co-authored paper on participation, accountability and decentralization in Africa, and producing studies on health systems strengthening in fragile states for World Vision Canada and on sub-national fragility in India and Pakistan for the HLSP Institute. He is currently working on a long term study of livelihoods and post-conflict reconstruction in Pakistan, and the ‘new deal’ on aid for fragile and conflict affected states.
Paavo Monkkonen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Urban Planning at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, where he teaches courses on housing markets and policy, economics, research methods, and global urban segregation. His research focuses on five areas: housing policy with an emphasis on low-income housing, the role of finance, policy, and economic development in the changing spatial structures of cities, the impacts of land use regulation on housing markets, the regularization of informally developed neighborhoods, and property taxation. He was recently awarded the David C. Lincoln fellowship to study the urban development impacts of land taxation in Mexicali, Baja California. Dr. Monkkonen has a Master of Public Policy from the School of Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles. He completed his PhD in City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley.
Susanna Hecht’s research focuses largely on land use change in the Latin American tropics. As one of the founding thinkers of Political Ecology— now a widespread interdisciplinary approach in geography, anthropology, development studies and environmental sciences— she has consistently carved out new analytic terrain through highly active tropical and archival research. As an advocate for social justice, she makes theoretical and practical linkages between what may at first seem arcane investigations but that change the discourses, practices and questions that ultimately become transformational in the field.
Vinit Mukhija is a Professor and Department Chair of Urban Planning in the Luskin School of Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
His research focuses on informal housing and slums in developing countries and “Third World-like” housing conditions (including colonias, unpermitted trailer parks, and illegal garage apartments) in the United States.
Ian Holloway is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Professor Holloway’s research focuses on understanding the multilevel contexts in which health risk and protective behaviors occur in order to inform theoretically driven, culturally tailored structural and social network-delivered interventions to improve the health and well-being of sexual and gender minority (LGBT) communities. Dr. Holloway holds dual masters degrees in social work and public health from Columbia University. His doctorate is in social work from the University of Southern California. Dr. Holloway’s international work focuses on Latin America and the Caribbean.
Manisha Shah is a Professor of Public Policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She received her Ph.D. in agriculture and resource economics from UC Berkeley. She is a development economist whose primary research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of applied microeconomics, health, and development. She has written several papers on the economics of sex markets in order to learn how more effective policies and programs can be deployed to slow the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. Much of her research involves primary data collection and fieldwork, and she has worked extensively in Mexico, Ecuador, Indonesia, and India.
Ananya Roy is Professor of Urban Planning and Social Welfare and inaugural Director of The Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin. She holds The Meyer and Renee Luskin Chair in Inequality and Democracy. Ananya’s scholarship has focused on urban transformations in the global South, with particular attention to the making of “world-class” cities and the dispossessions and displacements that are thus wrought. Her books on this topic include City Requiem, Calcutta: Gender and the Politics of Poverty and Worlding Cities: Asian Experiments and the Art of Being Global, the latter co-edited with Aihwa Ong.
Zachary C. Steinert-Threlkeld is an assistant professor of Public Policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. At Luskin, his teaching focuses on subnational conflict, statistics and advanced data analysis of various kinds, including the analysis of “big data.”
His research interests are at the border of international and comparative politics, exploiting in particular vast social media data to study subnational conflict. His current research focuses on the mobilization of mass protest during the Arab Spring and Ukraine’s Euromaidan protests, as well as elite behavior and state repression in authoritarian regimes.
Darin Christensen is an assistant professor of Public Policy. He received his Ph.D. in political science and M.A. in economics from Stanford University.
He studies the political economy of conflict and development, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. One strand of research focuses on the logic of protest and repression: what motivates people to protest, what technologies enable this collective action, and when do governments repress demonstrations? A second strand considers the political determinants and consequences of investments in mining and agribusiness in developing states.
Kian Goh received her Master of Architecture from Yale University and her Ph.D. in Urban and Environmental Planning from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT. Prior to UCLA she was an assistant professor of Urban Landscape at Northeastern University. Dr. Goh’s research investigates the relationships between urban ecological design, spatial politics, and social mobilization in the context of climate change and global urbanization. Her work has centered on sites in New York, Jakarta and Rotterdam. She also has ongoing projects on queer space and the sociopolitics of smart cities. In addition to her scholarly work, Goh is a licensed architect and co-founder of SUPER-INTERESTING!, a multidisciplinary architecture and strategic consulting practice located in Brooklyn.
Randall Akee is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles in the Department of Public Policy. He completed his Ph.D. at Harvard University in June 2006. Prior to his doctoral studies, Dr. Akee earned a Masters degree in International and Development Economics at Yale University.
Previous research has focused on the determinants of migration and human trafficking, the effect of changes in household income on educational attainment, the effect of political institutions on economic development and the role of property institutions on investment decisions. Dr. Akee has worked on several American Indian reservations, Canadian First Nations, and Pacific Island nations in addition to working in various Native Hawaiian communities.
Dr. Latoya Small’s scholarship is informed by her work in clinical social work practice and community-based research. Her research focuses on health disparities, specifically, the intersection of mental health, treatment adherence, and HIV among women and children in the U.S. and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her global research addresses the urgent need for theory-driven, empirically-informed, and sustainable psychosocial HIV treatment approaches for perinatally HIV-infected youth in South Africa.
Dr. Amy Ritterbusch has led social justice-oriented participatory action research initiatives with street-connected communities in Colombia for the last decade and recently in Uganda. Her work involves the documentation of human rights violations and forms of violence exerted against homeless individuals, sex workers, drug users and street-connected children and youth, and subsequent community-driven mobilizations to catalyze social justice outcomes within these communities. Throughout her research and teaching career she has explored different approaches to engaging students and community leaders through critical and responsible interaction between classroom and street spaces in Colombia and Uganda through the lens of social justice-oriented PAR. Her research has been funded by the Open Society Foundations, the National Science Foundation, the Fulbright U.S. Program and other networks promoting global social justice.
Dr. Leyla Karimli’s research focuses on a multidimensional and multidisciplinary analysis of poverty and social exclusion in a global context. Situated within Amartya Sen’s capability approach, Professor Karimli’s research is based on the proposition that poverty needs to be treated as a complex phenomenon experienced not only in terms of material deprivation but also as powerlessness, limited human agency, exposure to vulnerability and risk, and social exclusion.
Natalie Bau is an assistant professor of public policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She is an economist studying topics in development and education economics and is particularly interested in the industrial organization of educational markets. She has studied private schooling and teacher compensation in Pakistan, the relationship between negotiation skills and girls’ educational outcomes in Zambia, and the interactions between educational investment and cultural traditions in Indonesia, Zambia, and Ghana.
Dr. Bau received her PhD in public policy from Harvard University, and is currently an affiliate of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and the Centre for Economic Policy and Research. Prior to joining UCLA, she was an assistant professor of economics at the University of Toronto.
Liz Koslov is assistant professor of Urban Planning and the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA, where she studies the social, cultural, and political dimensions of urban climate change adaptation.
Her current book project, “Retreat: Moving to Higher Ground in a Climate-Changed City,” is an ethnographic account of “managed retreat,” the process of relocating people and unbuilding land exposed to extreme weather and sea level rise. The book is based on fieldwork in the New York City borough of Staten Island, where residents organized in favor of home buyouts after Hurricane Sandy. A related article, The Case for Retreat, appears in Public Culture. Koslov has spoken about this research in outlets that include The New Yorker, WWNO New Orleans Public Radio, and Scientific American.
Veronica Herrera studies the politics of development in Global South cities with a focus on Latin America. In particular, her research has focused on environmental policymaking, sustainability and water policy. She is the author of Water and Politics: Clientelism and Reform in Urban Mexico (University of Michigan Press, 2017), which received the Dennis Judd Best Book Award for the Urban and Local Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. Dr. Herrera received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and her B.A. from Swarthmore College.
Dr. Herrera’s work has been published or is forthcoming in Comparative Politics, World Development, Latin American Politics and Society, PS: Political Science and Politics, and Perspective on Politics. She has been a visiting scholar at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, and has received research support from the Ford Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the American Association of University Women, the SSRC, UC-Mexus, and Fulbright.
Before joining Luskin, Dr. Herrera was an assistant professor in the political science department of the University of Connecticut.
Ron Avi Astor holds the Marjory Crump Chair Professorship in Social Welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs with a joint appointment in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. His work examines the role of the physical, social-organizational and cultural contexts in schools related to different kinds of bullying and school violence (e.g., sexual harassment, cyber bullying, discrimination hate acts, school fights, emotional abuse, weapon use, teacher/child violence). This work documents the ecological influences of the family, community, school and culture on different forms of bullying and school violence. This work has been used worldwide. Astor’s studies have included tens of thousands of schools and millions of students, teachers, parents and administrators. Over the past 20 years, findings from these studies have been published in more than 200 scholarly manuscripts.
Astor’s work has won numerous international research awards from the Society for Social Work Research, the American Psychological Association, the American Educational Research Association, the Military Child Educational Coalition and other research organizations. He has an honorary doctorate from Hebrew Union College. Astor is a fellow of APA, AERA, and an elected member of the National Academy of Education and American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.
Helmut K. Anheier is Adjunct Professor of Social Welfare, and Professor of Sociology at the Hertie School in Berlin, Germany. He served as President of the Hertie School from 2009 to 2018, held a Chair of Sociology at the Max-Weber-Institute of Heidelberg University and served as founding Academic Director of the Centre for Social Investment and Innovation. He is the Academic Co-Director of the Dahrendorf Forum, a joint initiative by the Hertie School and the London School of Economics and Political Science.
His research centres on social innovation, nonprofits, civil society and philanthropy; governance; cultural policy; organisational studies; and indicator systems. Anheier was the principal academic lead of the Governance Report (Oxford University Press), and is editor-in-chief of Global Perspectives (University of California Press). Anheier is author of over 500 publications, many in leading journals and with top university presses. He has received various national and international awards.
He received his PhD from Yale University in 1986, was a senior researcher at the Johns Hopkins University’s Institute for Policy Studies, Professor of Public Policy and Social Welfare at UCLA , Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University. Before embarking on an academic career, he served as Social Affairs Officer at the United Nations.