2018 Best Book in Urban Affairs Award-Honorable Mention

Gavin ShatkinThe Urban Affairs Association (UAA), the international professional association for urban scholars, researchers and public service professionals, convened its 48th Annual Conference in Toronto, Ontario April 4-7, 2018. More than 1,000 participants, representing universities, research institutions, non-profit organizations, and public and private organizations/institutions from around the world met to discuss 21st century issues impacting urban populations and places. Conference participants represented institutions from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. The University of Toronto, York University, and Ryerson University served as the local sponsors for the event.

During the conference, awards were presented in recognition of outstanding scholarship and service. Among those honored was Gavin Shatkin (Northeastern University), who was awarded the 2018 Best Book in Urban Affairs Award-Honorable Mention, for Cities For Profit: The Real Estate Turn in Asia’s Urban Politics. Fifty-seven books were nominated for the Best Book in Urban Affairs Award this year. The authors of these books represented several different disciplines and a variety of urban topics.

Award Committee Assessment:

The award committee recognizes with an honorable mention Gavin Shatkin’s “Cities for Pro?t: The Real Estate Turn in Asia’s Urban Politics,” which examined the rent-seeking behavior of urban governments in three different Asian cities. Shatkin used extensive ?eldwork and current theoretical developments on neoliberalism and urban economies from several ?elds to provide a compelling comparative account of how urban mega projects and real estate are shaping urban space in Asia. Shatkin’s book is exemplary of the Urban Affairs Association’s commitment to rigorous research capable of providing insights to a truly interdisciplinary, international scholarly community.

Award Committee:

Thomas Skuzinski, Committee Chair (Virginia Tech), Amanda Ashley (Boise State University), Xuefei Ren (Michigan State University), and Michael Emerson (North Park University)

Award Winners:

Gavin Shatkin is Associate Professor at the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. His research focuses on urban politics, real estate development, hazard mitigation, and shelter and infrastructure delivery in Asian cities. His articles have appeared in leading journals in urban policy and planning and Asian studies, including Environment and Planning A, Cities, Urban Studies, the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, and Pacific Affairs. His edited book, Contesting the Indian City: Global Visions and the Politics of the Local (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013) examines the changing political economy of post-liberalization Indian cities. He is also author of Collective Action and Urban Poverty Alleviation: Community Organizations and the Struggle for Shelter in Manila (Ashgate, 2007). Professor Shatkin was a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar in Kolkata in 2010, and also spent time in 2010 as a Senior Research Fellow at the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore. He is currently the Director of the MS in Urban and Regional Policy and Director of the Asian Studies Program at Northeastern University.


The Urban Affairs Association (UAA) is the international professional organization for urban scholars, researchers, and public service providers. UAA is dedicated to creating interdisciplinary spaces for engaging in intellectual and practical discussions about urban life. Through theoretical, empirical, and action-oriented research, the UAA fosters diverse activities to understand and shape a more just and equitable urban world. UAA sponsors the Journal of Urban Affairs, a refereed annual journal, publishing manuscripts related to urban research and policy analysis of interest to both scholars and practitioners. UAA also sponsors Upsilon Sigma – The Urban Studies Honor Society, an international, multidisciplinary honor society dedicated to recognizing and encouraging excellence in scholarship, leadership, and engagement in urban studies and related fields. The Urban Affairs Association hosts a conference each spring in an urban center. The conference program features both topics of institutional concern and those related to urban issues.



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