Michelle Buckley, Assistant Professor


Home Campus:
U of T Scarborough

University of Oxford (2012)

Contact Information:

Phone:    (416) 208-5122
Location: Room MW289 (UTSC)
Downtown Office: Room SSH5022 (100 St. George Street)
Email:     mbuckley@utsc.utoronto.ca

Personal Website: www.michellebuckley.net

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:

Refereed Articles

  • 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.
  • Buckley, M. 2014. “Migration, Construction and Urbanisation”. In M. Keith and B. Anderson, (eds.) Migration: The COMPAS Anthology.  Oxford: COMPAS.
  • Buckley, M. 2014. On the work of urbanization: migration, construction labor and the commodity moment. Annals of the Association of American Geographers.
  • Buckley, M. 2013. Locating neoliberalism in Dubai: migrant workers and class struggle in the autocratic city. Antipode 45(2): 256–274.
  • Buckley, M. 2012. From Kerala to Dubai and back again: migrant construction workers and the global economic crisis. Geoforum 43(2): 250-9.