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John Krinsky

Faculty and Staff Profiles

John Krinsky


NAC 4/138B
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John Krinsky

John Krinsky is professor of political science, with an interest in labor and community organizing in New York. He specializes in urban politics, the politics of social movements, and the politics of work, welfare and labor. He is a co-editor of the online peer-reviewed journal Metro-politics and a co-editor of the journal Social Movement Studies. He co-coordinates the Politics and Protest Workshop at the CUNY Graduate Center and is a founding board member of the New York City Community Land Initiative.


Ph.D. Columbia, 2002

Courses Taught

12500: Introduction to Public Policy Contemporary public policy. How policy issues are formulated, resolved and evaluated. The major techniques of policy analysis and public affairs research, with emphasis on the social and political contexts of policy problems. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

21000: Urban Politics The politics and policy problems of urban areas throughout the United States. Emphasis on both the central cities and their suburbs, as well as their relationships to state governments and national institutions. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

32400: The Politics of Protest The emergence, development and ultimate impact of protest movements on politics and policy in American politics. Through an examination of several movements in the United States after World War II, such as the civil rights, women’s and anti-tax movements, the course will focus on three basic sets of questions: under what circumstances do dissident movements emerge? how do dissidents choose political tactics and strategies? and how do movements influence more conventional politics and policy? (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.


Free Labor: Workfare and the Contested Language of Neoliberalism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007. Reviewed in Contemporary Sociology (Chris Tilly); Perspectives on Politics (Guian McKee); Urban Studies (Alex Law).

(with Colin Barker, Laurence Cox, and Alf Gunvald Nilsen), Marxism and Social Movements. Edited volume of seventeen articles. Editing responsibilities equally shared. Historical Materialism Book Series, June 2013 (Haymarket Books edition, June 2014).


Articles and Book Chapters

“Marxism and the Politics of Possibility” in Marxism and Social Movements.(with Maud Simonet), “Aux marges du travail, au centre de son exécution: les temporalités du travail neoliberal.” (At the margins of work, at the center of its execution: temporalities of neoliberal public-sector work). Chapter for Le travail à ses marges, ed. Patrick Cingolani. Paris: Eres, 2012.

“New York City: 1929-1941” in Cities in American History, edited by Richardson Dilworth. CQ Press, 2011.

(with Colin Barker) “Movement Strategizing as Developmental Learning: Perspectives from Cultural Historical Activity Theory.” Pp. 209-228 in Culture, Protest, and Social Movements, edited by Hank Johnston, Ashgate Publishers, 2009.

“ACORN.” In Alice O’Connor and Gwendolyn Mink, eds., ABC-CLIO Encyclopedia of Poverty and Social Welfare, 2005.

(with Ann Mische), 2013.  “Formations and Formalisms: Charles Tilly and the Paradox of the Actor.” Annual Review of Sociology.

Jenny Pickerill and John Krinsky, “Why Occupy Matters”, editors’ introduction,Social Movement Studies 11, 3-4 (special issue on Occupy!): 279-287. November 2012.

“De New York à Madison: Le workfare et la remise en cause du service public,”Politique Américaine (November 2012)  (From New York to Madison : Workfare and the question of public service.)

John Krinsky and Maud Simonet, “Déni de travail. L'invisibilisation du travail aujourd'hui” Editors’ introduction, Special issue of Sociétés Contemporaines87 ,3 (2012) : 5-23. (The Denial of Work : The Invisibilization of Work Today)

(with Maud Simonet), "La Servitude et la Volontaire: Les Usages Politiques du Travail Invisible dans les Parcs de la Ville de New York," Societes Contemporaines 87, 3 (2012): 49-74. (Servitude and Volunteerism: The Political Uses of Work in New York City's Parks)

(with Maud Simonet), “Safeguarding Private Value in Public Space: Neoliberalizing Labor in New York City’s Parks.” Social Justice 38, 1-2. Special issue “Policing the Crisis—Policing in Crisis,” ed. Volker Eick and Kendra Briken, 2011. Contracts for book versions in English and German have also been reached.

“Neoliberal Times: Intersecting Temporalities and the Neoliberalization of New York City’s Public-Sector Labor Relations” Social Science History 33, 5 (Fall 2011): 381-422.

“Dynamics of Hegemony: Mapping Mechanisms in Debates over Workfare in New York City, 1993-1999.” Poetics 38, 6 (October 2010) : 625-648.

(with Maud Simonet), Qui nettoie le parc? Statuts de travailleurs et régimes de mobilisation dans l’entretien des jardins  municipaux à New York (Who cleans the park ? Worker status and mobilization regimes in the maintenance of New York City’s parks). Journées Internationales du Sociologie du Travail (Presse Universitaire de Nancy, 2011).

“Changing Minds: Cognition and Culture in the Opposition to Workfare in New York City” Social Movement Studies 7, 1 (May 2008): 1–30.

“The Urban Politics of Workfare: Rescaling, Retrenchment, Regimes, and Redistribution in New York City.” Urban Affairs Review 42 (July 2007): 771–798.

Guest Editor, “Constructing Workers,” special issue of Qualitative Sociology on organizing workers in non-standard labor contracts. Vol. 30, No. 4 (December 2007).

“Constructing Workers: Working-Class Formation Under Neoliberalism.”Qualitative Sociology 30, 4 (2007): 343–360.

“The Dialectics of Privatization and Advocacy in New York City's Workfare State.” Social Justice 33, 3 (2006):158–74.

(with Ellen Reese) “Forging and Sustaining Labor-Community Coalitions: The Workfare Justice Movement in Three Cities.”  Sociological Forum 21, 4 (December 2006): 623–658. 


Book Reviews in Journals

Review of Nicole Marwell, Bargaining for Brooklyn: Community Organizations in the Entrepreneurial City.  In Social Forces 88, 2 (December 2009): 998-1000.

Review of Guian A. McKee, The Problem of Jobs: Liberalism, Race, and Deindustrialization in Philadelphia, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.  In Perspectives on Politics 7 (2009): 665-666.

Review of Alex Vitale, City of Disorder: How the Quality of Life Campaign Changed New York City Politics, New York: NYU Press. In Contemporary Sociology 38, 2 (March 2009): 160-161.

Review of David S. Meyer, The Politics of Protest: Social Movements In America.  In Contemporary Sociology 36, 5 (September 2007): 487-488.

Review of Anne L. Schneider and Helen M. Ingram, eds. Deserving and Entitled: Social Constructions and Public Policy. In Social Forces 85, 1 (2006): 591-592.

“Le Workfare: Néolibéralisme et contrats du travail dans le secteur public aux États-Unis.” Les Notes de l’IES 8 (November-December 2009)Institut Européen du Salariat. Online at


Other Writing

“The 18th Brumaire of Iain Duncan Smith.” The Guardian. Comment is (November 9, 2010).(with Laura Wernick and Paul Getsos). WEP/The Work Experience Program: New York City’s Public Sector Sweatshop Economy. Research report. New York: Community Voices Heard, June 2000.

(with Sarah Hovde). Hands-on Housing: A Guide Through Mutual Housing Associations and Community Land Trusts. New York: The Community Service Society of New York, 1996.

(with Sarah Hovde). Balancing Acts: The Experience of Mutual Housing Associations and Community Land Trusts in Urban Neighborhoods. New York: The Community Service Society of New York, 1996 (180 pages).

(with Sarah Hovde). “Watchful Stewards: Mutual Housing Associations and Community Land Trusts Preserve Affordable Housing.” Shelterforce (March/April 1997).


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