Michael McQuarrie

Dr Michael McQuarrie

Nationality: American

Lives in: London, UK


Dr Michael McQuarrie is particularly interested in the relationship between geography and inequality and politics and inequality.

He received his BA in history from Earlham College, his MA in history from Duke University, and his Ph.D in sociology from New York University. He studies governance, social movements, urban politics, community development, and non-profit organisations. He has spent considerable time working in the US Rust Belt as a labour organiser and a community organiser. He has also done considerable research on ‘Rust Belt’ cities like Cleveland, Detroit, Buffalo, Louisville, and St. Louis.

He has published in many scholarly outlets including Public Culture, Politics and Society, City and Community, and ANNALS. His public-facing work has appeared in New Politics, Public Books, Newsweek Online, Scroll.India, and Public Seminar. He recently edited the volume Democratizing Inequalities: The Promise and Pitfalls of the New Public Participation (with Caroline Lee and Edward Walker) and he recently appeared in the Al Jazeera English documentary "The Big Picture: The People vs. America”


Personal statement

The purpose of our team’s work on inequalities is to examine the ways in which inequalities become articulated in politics and, in particular, populist and ethnonationalist politics. This is tricky ground. Culturally, we have become quite used to imagining politics as a matter of connecting "messages" to individual attributes in ways that motivate support without requiring accountability. Even more disruptive to the analysis of populist and ethnonationalist politics is the ways in which scholars, journalists, and professionals are wholly invested in this struggle as opponents of the poorly-educated who challenge their authority. The combination of these factors has resulted in radically disconnected community experiences for people in different geographic regions and very little mutual understanding between them. We will demonstrate how this disconnection becomes mobilised in politics by populist and ethnonationalist candidates through the construction of temporal imaginaries that radically distinguish them from their mainstream competitors even if their policy agendas remain thin.