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Thomas J. Vicino, Ph.D. - Global Resilience Institute. Boston, MA, US

Thomas J. Vicino, Ph.D. Thomas J. Vicino, Ph.D.

Professor of Political Science, Public Policy and Urban Affairs & Chair, Department of Political Science, Northeastern University | Faculty Affiliate, Global Resilience Institute


Professor Thomas J. Vicino is the chair of the Department of Political Science.



Thomas J. Vicino, Ph.D. Publication Thomas J. Vicino, Ph.D. Publication Thomas J. Vicino, Ph.D. Publication Thomas J. Vicino, Ph.D. Publication Thomas J. Vicino, Ph.D. Publication







Dr. Thomas J. Vicino is Professor of Political Science, Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. He holds a joint appointment in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and is affiliated in the Department of Cultures, Societies and Global Studies. Currently, he serves as the Department Chair of the Department of Political Science. Previously, Dr. Vicino was the Director of the Master of Public Administration Program, which is a nationally-ranked program accredited by NASPAA. In 2014, Dr. Vicino was a U.S. Fulbright Scholar to Brazil, where he was a visiting professor in the Graduate Program in Social Sciences at Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He teaches at the graduate level in the Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program and the Master of Urban and Regional Policy (MURP) Program. At the undergraduate level, he teaches in the Political Science major and the Urban Studies minor.

Dr. Vicino specializes in the political economy of cities and suburbs, focusing on issues of metropolitan development, housing, and demographic analysis. He is the author of the five books, including: Suburban Crossroads: The Fight for Local Control of Immigration Policy (2013) and Transforming Race and Class in Suburbia: Decline in Metropolitan Baltimore (2008) and co-author of Global Migration: The Basics (2014) as well as the bestselling book Cities and Suburbs: New Metropolitan Realities in the US (2010). Most recently, he is the co-editor, with Bernadette Hanlon, of the book The Routledge Companion to the Suburbs (2019). He has also published numerous book chapters and research articles in leading peer-reviewed journals.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Metropolitan development Suburbs Sprawl Globalization Economic Development

Accomplishments (6)

Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Brazil (professional)


Nomination for Best Book in Urban Affairs (professional)

Urban Affairs Association, for Transforming Race and Class in Suburbia, 2009

Nomination for Piper Professor Award for Excellence in Teaching (professional)

University of Texas at Arlington, 2008

Frazer D. White Award for Excellence in Communication Studies (professional)

University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, 2002

Howard County Executive’s Award for Excellence in Government (professional)


George E. Merrick Scholarship (professional)

University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, 1998 –2002

Education (3)

University of Maryland Graduate School: PhD, Public Policy 2006

University of Maryland Graduate School: MPP, Public Policy 2004

University of Miami: BSc, Communication Studies and Political Science 2002

cum laude

Affiliations (6)

  • American Political Science Association
  • Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning
  • Brazilian Studies Association
  • International Studies Association
  • Latin American Studies Association
  • Urban Affairs Association

Media Appearances (5)

Professor: ‘Brazil Is Still a Country of Tomorrow’

News @ Northeastern  online


Public trust in Brazil is at an “all-time low,” according to Thomas Vicino, associate professor of political science, public policy, and urban affairs at Northeastern University.

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What’s on Your Summer Reading List? Here’s What Faculty Are Digging Into

News @ Northeastern  online


Whether you prefer to breeze through a half-dozen beach reads or challenge your intellectual acumen with a couple 800-page brain-busters, the summer months provide a unique opportunity to explore what the literary world has to offer. Here’s what a handful of faculty are reading these days.

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The labor roots of Baltimore’s anguish

The Washington Post  online


The violence that has engulfed Baltimore is visible and heartbreaking evidence of the siege the city has been under for decades.

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New Energy Rouses Boston’s Downtown Crossing

The New York TImes  online


Ever since the postwar demise of the venerable department stores that once distinguished Downtown Crossing as a shopping hub, the central section of this city has struggled to survive as a retail destination.

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News @ Northeastern  online


Detroit this month became the largest American city to declare bankruptcy, a move by the state-appointed emergency manager to help right one of the nation’s most struggling urban areas. We asked Thomas J. Vicino, an associate professor of political science and the director of the Master of Public Administration program, to look at the factors that brought about Detroit’s decline and what could come next for the city.

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Articles (5)

The politics of contested urban space: The 2013 protest movement in Brazil Journal of Urban Affairs

Thomas J. Vicino & Anjuli Fahlberg


In June 2013, Brazil witnessed one of its largest protest movements in history when more than 1 million Brazilians marched on city streets to demand improvements to urban life. As the epicenters of protests, cities have become an important location for examining the demands, politics, and social change strategies of contemporary citizenship. In this article, we analyze the evolution of Brazil’s protest movement. Based on participant observation, archival research, secondary data, and thick description, we conduct a historical event analysis. By examining the narratives, practices, and forms that emerged in Brazil’s 2013 protests, we argue that contemporary urban citizenship is transformed in important ways in response to both global and local changes. Policymakers and planners need to be prepared to deal with the realities of urbanization, and we offer perspectives on how citizenship can better accommodate new growth and societal changes.

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A Typology of Urban Immigrant Neighborhoods Urban Geography

Thomas J. Vicino, Bernadette Hanlon & John Rennie Short


Using census data from 2000, the authors examine differentiation among urban immigrant neighborhoods in a sample of U.S. metropolitan areas. They use principal components analysis (PCA) followed by cluster analysis to identify four types of urban immigrant neighborhoods: Hispanic, White Working Class, Asian, and Gentrified. This typology describes the diversity of immigrant populations and immigrant neighborhoods across the urban U.S.

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The spatial transformation of first‐tier suburbs, 1970 to 2000: The case of metropolitan baltimore Housing Policy Debate

Thomas J. Vicino


The evolution of first‐tier suburbs has emerged as an important topic of scholarly and popular attention in the past decade, yet little is known about the diversity of neighborhood spatial structure. This article analyzes data on 152 census tracts in 21 first‐tier suburban census designated places in metropolitan Baltimore. A total of 49 socioeconomic variables are used to measure the population, income dynamics, nature of the housing, and structure of the labor force.

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The Quest to Confront Suburban Decline Political Realities and Lessons Urban Affairs Review

Thomas J. Vicino


The social and economic decline of first-tier suburbs has emerged as an important issue in metropolitan America, yet little is known about the political and policy responses to this problem. An analysis of Baltimore County demonstrates that the local government was able to implement revitalization projects from 1995 to 2005 since it had jurisdiction over its first-tier suburbs. Characteristics such as a large population in both first-tier and outer suburbs, an affluent tax base, and the lack of municipalities allowed Baltimore County to redistribute funds for these projects. I argue that if policymakers and planners are serious about confronting suburban decline, then either a regional growth boundary or a regional zoning tool is necessary to slow the pressures of urban decentralization. The political realities suggest that the will to maintain local autonomy is stronger than the will to eliminate the real barriers to revitalizing first-tier suburbs.

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The Political History of a Postwar Suburban Society Revisited History Compass

Thomas J. Vicino


There is a vast multidisciplinary literature on U.S. suburbs. Through an urban historical lens, this article charts the public policies that gave way to the rise of a suburban society. It explores the evolution of scholarly historical thought on the roles that political processes and public policies played in the development of the suburban landscape. Major political and social movements, including the areas of housing, transportation, and race relations, are surveyed. The future prospects for metropolitan America suggest that politics and policy contributed to complex social, economic, and political realities that confront suburbs in an era of uncontrolled urban sprawl and mounting suburban decline.

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