Gianpaolo Baiocchi is a sociologist and an ethnographer interested in questions of politics and culture, critical social theory, and cities. He has written about and continues to research instances of actually existing civic life and participatory democracy. While much of his research and writing has been about Brazil, his most recent book, The Civic Imagination (co-authored with Elizabeth Bennett, Alissa Cordner, Stephanie Savell, and Peter Klein) examines the contours and limits of the democratic conversation in the US today. His most recent research, with Ernesto Ganuza, has been about the global travel and translation of blueprints of urban participation in the current era. An engaged scholar, Baiocchi was one of the founders of the Participatory Budgeting Project and continues to work with groups improving urban democracy. He heads Gallatin’s Urban Democracy Lab, which launched in 2014 and which provides a space for scholars and practitioners to collaborate and exchange ideas for cultivating just, sustainable, and creative urban futures.
Teaching and Research Interests
politics and culture; critical social theory; urban studies; Latin America
B.A. Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, 1993 M.S. Sociology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1996 Ph.D. Sociology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2001
Urban Democracy Lab Director and Gallatin faculty member Gianpaolo Baiocchi has just released his latest book, Popular Democracy: The Paradox of Participation (Stanford University Press, 2016), which he co-authored with Ernesto Ganuza. In late January, a book launch was held at the Institute for Public Knowledge at NYU, and included a discussion between the authors and Daniel Aldana Cohen, Caroline Lee, and Sanjay Ruparelia.
Professor Baiocchi's piece about deposed Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, "Bad News for Brazilian Democracy," appeared in the September 12, 2016 issue of the Boston Review.
Professor Baiocchi organized the 2014 “Democratizing the Green City” spring speaking series event, co-sponsored by the Urban Democracy Lab and the Institute for Public Knowledge. He, along with Brian Connor, published “Politics as interruption Rancière’s Community of Equals and Governmentality” in the August 2013 issue of Thesis Eleven.