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Marc J Doussard

Professor and Head of Urban and Regional Planning


Marc Doussard is Professor of Urban and Regional Development. He focuses on equitable economic development at the level of communities, cities, and regions. Professor Doussard’s research examines the economic value of social practices, policy development, and emergent issues typically considered to lie outside economic development. His early work demonstrated the value to places and communities of improving pay, working conditions, and job security for low-wage workers. He has since explored the economic development value of marijuana legalization, the maker movement, community organizing, municipal public policy, and investments in local manufacturing capacity.

Professor Doussard holds a Bachelor’s degree from Columbia College, but his real education came at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has been active in economic development as a scholar, program staffer, public intellectual, and organizer since the 1990s.

Research Interests

Alternative Policy Mobilities:

How do alternative economic ideas become politically possible? Supported by a Fulbright Scholar award for research in France, this project examines the role of local and regional policy experiments in building political and popular support for universal basic income, worker cooperatives and participatory budgeting.

Urban Policy Entrepreneurship:

In the past decade, U.S. cities have become sites of policy experiments and dramatic change – an outcome that contradicts decades of warnings that cities had no capacity to act on the economy. Focusing on public finance, basic income experiments and alternative economic development models, this research examines the changing role of U.S. cities in shaping economy and policy.


  • PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2008
  • MUPP, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2002
  • BA, Columbia College, 1997

Courses Taught

  • UP 330: The Modern American City
  • UP 505: Urban and Regional Analysis
  • UP 545: Economic Development Policy and Practice
  • UP 589: Research Design and Methods
  • UP 594-MD: Policy Mobilities

Additional Campus Affiliations

Professor, Urban and Regional Planning
Head, Urban and Regional Planning

Recent Publications

Doussard, M. (2024). Seeding policy: Viral cash and the diverse trajectories of basic income in the United States. International Social Security Review, 77(1-2), 85-101.

Doussard, M. (2024). Viral cash: Basic income trials, policy mutation, and post-austerity politics in U.S. cities. Environment and Planning A, 56(3), 927-942.

Doussard, M. (2023). Building distributive populism: basic income and political alternatives to ethno-nationalism. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Article rsad040. Advance online publication.

Doussard, M., & Schrock, G. (Accepted/In press). Economic and racial justice coalitions and the rise of progressive cities. Journal of Urban Affairs.

Doussard, M., & Schrock, G. (2023). Urban Policy Entrepreneurship: Activist Networks, Minimum Wage Campaigns and Municipal Action Against Inequality. Urban Affairs Review, 59(4), 1102-1128.

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