Jefferey M. Sellers

Department of Political Science and International Relations
University of Southern California



Jefferey M. Sellers researches urban, environmental and social policies and their politics around the world. His research
seeks to understand the role of institutions and state-society relations at the local scale in democratic governance, and the
challenges of governing the urban regions where a growing majority of the world's people now live.

One current project undertakes the first systematic multilevel comparison of local linkages between state
and society in democracies across the developed and developing worlds, along with their origins and evolution. His new
book, Multilevel Democracy: How Local Institutions and Civil Society Shape the Modern State (Cambridge University Press,
forthcoming January 2020), analyzes national traditions of local democracy across the developed world. The next stage of this
project, now under way, extends the focus to developing countries. A second project applies remote sensing and data from
other new sources to compare forms and trajectories of urbanization and their drivers in China, India and other developing
countries. A third project, recently completed, carried out the largest international research program to date on metropolitan
governance and politics, and generated three volumes of published findings. Other recent papers have analyzed methods for
subnational comparison, the effects of globalization on the identity of citizens, and the politics of distressed neighborhoods
in Los Angeles.

He has authored or edited seven books, and published over 50 articles or chapters in such journals as Environment and
Planning C
, the European Journal of Political Research, Governance, the International Journal of
Urban and Regional
, the Journal of Urban Affairs, Landscape and Urban Planning, the Law and Society Review, Perspectives
on Politics
, the Urban Affairs Review, the Yale Law Journal, and in numerous edited volumes. His
research has been supported
by the James Bryant Conant Fellowship, the Social Science Research Council, the French Ministry of Research, the
French National Center for Scientific Research, the German Academic Exchange Service, United Cities and Local
Governments, the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research, and the U.S. National Science Foundation.

Much of this research draws on seminal collaborative networks he has organized among researchers based in multiple
countries. He was co-founder and co-coordinator of the International Metropolitan Observatory project, and brought together
Chinese and Indian researchers in the Asia-Pacific Urban Environmental Governance study. He was also a lead researcher for the
First World Report on Decentralization and Local Democracy, which compiled a benchmark dataset of systematic indicators
on local governments around the world. At the University of Southern California Professor Sellers is Professor in the
Department of Political Science and International Relations and the Spatial Sciences Institute at the Dornsife College
of Letters, Arts and Sciences, with a courtesy appointment in the Sol Price School of Public Policy. His courses
include Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Economy, Urban Political Problems, European Politics,
Environmental Law and Policy, Institutions and Politics, Cities and Regions in World Politics, and Environmental