Barry Bluestone

Stearns Trustee Professor of Sociology and Political Economy
Political Economy, Public Policy, Labor Economics, Industrial Relations
Center for Urban and Regional Policy
Ph.D. University of Michigan
Center For Urban and Regional Policy (CURP)

Office: 339 Holmes Hall
Telephone: (617) 373-8595

Barry Bluestone is the Russell B. and Andree B. Stearns Trustee Professor of Political Economy, Dean of Northeastern’s new School of Social Science, Urban Affairs, and Public Policy, and the founding director of the university’s Center for Urban and Regional Policy. The Center is devoted to research and community action projects in housing, workforce development, community economic development, and the implementation of state-of-the-art information technology for schools, community groups, and small business. Before coming to Northeastern in 1999, Bluestone taught political economy for more than twenty-five years at Boston College and the University of Massachusetts Boston. He was the founding director of the Doctoral Program in Public Policy at UMB. He received his BA, MA, and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan.

As a political economist, Bluestone has written widely in the areas of income distribution, business and industrial policy, labor-management relations, and urban and regional economic development. He contributes regularly to academic, as well as popular journals, and is the co-author of nine books. These include most recently Growing Prosperity: The Battle for Growth with Equity in the 21st Century (with Bennett Harrison) which explores the post-World War II history of economic growth and income distribution in the U.S, and The Boston Renaissance: Race, Space, and Economic Change in an American Metropolis (with Mary Huff Stevenson). Currently, he is completing a college textbook tentatively entitled The Urban Experience: Economics, Society, and Public Policy to be published next year by Oxford University Press. Earlier books explored the Deindustrialization of America and The Great U-Turn toward increasing inequality in the United States.

At CURP, Bluestone has been involved in a broad range of projects related to assessing the barriers to urban economic development and the housing ?crisis? in Massachusetts. Since the completion of the New Paradigm for Housing in Greater Boston report for the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce in 2000, the CURP housing team has produced annual reports reviewing the progress toward meeting housing needs in the Commonwealth, working with the assistance of The Boston Foundation and the Citizens? Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA). This work led to a commission from the Commonwealth Housing Task Force to prepare a legislative proposal for encouraging ?smart growth? housing in towns and cities throughout the state, culminating in the successful passage of Chapter 40R and Chapter 40S, the first new comprehensive housing legislation in Massachusetts in nearly forty years. Bluestone is also part of a CURP research team that has created a ?Self-Assessment Tool? to help local municipal leaders attract investment and jobs to their communities.

As part of his work, Bluestone spends a considerable amount of time consulting with community organizations, trade unions, industry groups, and with various federal, state, and local government agencies. In 1995, he served as Special Policy Adviser to the House Democratic Leader, Richard Gephardt. He is a founding director of the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. and a member of the scientific committee of the International Center for Social Studies based in Rome, Italy.

He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with his wife Mary Ellen Colten and their son Joshua.

  • Why Urban Studies?

    Northeastern's Urban Studies minor provides students interested in cities the opportunity to take advantage of he resources of an urban university situated in a major metropolitan area. The minor equips students to understand the dynamics of urban growth and development and includes the study of urban social and political institutions. It also enables students to understand urban processes and develop policies to keep cities vibrant.

    An urban studies minor complements many social science majors as well as architecture, business, and engineering. The minor also provides a solid background for graduate study and professional careers in urban planning and policy, social work, and related fields.

  • Contact Information

    School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs
    Northeastern University
    335 Holmes Hall
    Boston, MA 02115

    617.373.2891 (phone)
    617.373.4691 (fax)