Michelle Buckley, Assistant Professor


Home Campus:
U of T Scarborough

University of Oxford (2012)

Contact Information:

Location: Room MW370 (UTSC)
Downtown Office: Room SSH5027D (100 St. George Street)
Email:     mbuckley@utsc.utoronto.ca

Research Interests:

  • Migration and urbanization
  • Intersectional perspectives on work and employment
  • Marxist philosophy and postcolonial urban frameworks
  • Urban political economies of the Gulf and Middle East


I am an urban geographer whose research lies at the intersections of migration, work & employment and urbanization. My current research explores the contemporary role that migrant construction workers play in building cities, and theorizes the social relations of urbanization through the lens of precarious construction work and employment. Other recent research has examined the urban impacts of political economic restructuring in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states – in particular how neoliberalizing strategies of economic diversification in the region have focused on extracting value from Gulf urban built environments through mixed-use mega-projects, construction markets and circuits of urban development finance.


Selected Publications:

Journal articles

Book chapters

  • Buckley, M. and Reid-Musson, E (forthcoming 2017) ‘Urbanization as a bordering practice”, in Jonas, A., K. Ward, B. Miller and D. Wilson (eds) Handbook on Spaces of Urban Politics. Routledge.
  • Ogunyankin, G. and M. Buckley (2017) “Incremental and instant development: informal and spectacular urbanisms”,  in Bain, A. and L. Peake (eds.) Urbanization in a Global Context: A Canadian Readers’ Guide. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Buckley, M. (2017) “Migrant Labor” in N. Castree, M. Goodchild, W. Liu, A. Kobayashi, R. Marston, and  D. Richardson (eds), The Wiley-AAG International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment, and Technology.
  • Buckley, M. (2015) “Construction Work, ‘Bachelor’ Builders and the Intersectional Politics of Urbanization in Dubai.” In A. Hanieh, A. Khalaf and O. El Shehabi (Eds.) Transit States: Labour, Migration & Citizenship in the Gulf. London: Pluto Press. Pp.132-152.
  • s: Labour, Migration & Citizenship in the Gulf. London: Pluto Press. Pp.132-152.

Commissioned reports