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Michael TimberlakePhoto of Michael Timberlake

Michael Timberlake is Professor and Chair in the Department of Sociology, and an IPIA Investigator. His research is on comparative urbanization, global cities, and rural communities in the South. Currently, Timberlake is working on two research projects. With colleagues her at the University of Utah and at the University of California, Irvine, he is conducting research which identifies networks of cities at the global level, measures the relative importance of cities to these networks, and examines the socioeconomic outcomes in cities which are tied to their relative positions in these networks. The National Science Foundation funded some of this research. In the second project, with Bruce Williams (Mills College) and Judy Maynard (University of Tennessee at Martin), he is conducting research on poor, rural communities in the Mississippi Delta region of the United States. This project is a revival of one in which he was involved nearly twenty years ago (funded by the Ford Foundation). This research focuses on social welfare and economic development policies, the role of local public and private sector elites in development efforts, and outcomes for poor, single mothers in this persistently poor region of the country, many of whom are African American.

Timberlake's work has been published in such journals as The American Sociological Review, Social Forces, The Sociological Quarterly, International Journal of Comparative Sociology, Urban Studies, Journal of Urban Affairs, American Behavioral Scientist, and The Journal of Political and Military Sociology. He has also published his research in several edited scholarly books, including Forgotten Places: Uneven Development in Rural America (Lyson and Falk, eds.) and his own edited book, Urbanization in the World Economy. He is currently a North American editor for the journal, Urban Studies.

See a list of Professor Timberlake's invited lectures